Following a 2011 offseason that was a strong success in terms of free agency, the San Francisco 49ers ended up with no compensatory picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Such is the price for prosperity. Well, that and the team's decision to cut Braylon Edwards. The NFL compensatory draft pick formula involves computing free agents added and lost. If a player is cut, he does not count as a player lost. If a team signs a player that was cut, he does not count as an addition.
As we look back on 2012 NFL Free Agency and the 49ers gains and losses, it remains to be seen if the 49ers will end up with any compensatory picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Randy Moss and Perrish Cox signings do not count as additions. Cox was released by the Broncos last fall and never signed with anybody after that. Moss was a free agent after the 2010 season, but he sat out last season and does not count as a "free agent" addition for purposes of the formula. Additionally, the Shawntae Spencer loss does not count as a free agent loss because he was released by the 49ers.
These numbers could still change. If the 49ers decide to try and sign Leonard Davis, he would count as an addition. The 49ers also have several free agents still hanging around on the market. Some of the more prominent free agents include S Reggie Smith, LB Larry Grant, OG Chilo Rachal, S Madieu Williams.
Since Grant is a restricted free agent that would net a seventh round pick if he leaves, he might not qualify for the formula. Offer sheets for restricted free agents are due by April 20, so we still have a few weeks to wait and see what will happen with the 49ers inside linebacker.
Free agency has hit a lull and it might be several months before some of these players sign deals. If any of them re-sign with the 49ers they do not impact the formula from an additions perspective, but obviously they would keep the team from adding losses to the tally.
The actual specifics of how the picks are determined is not disclosed by the NFL. If one or more of the remaining free agents walks, it could mean nothing more than a seventh round comp pick. On the other hand, depending on performances (and contract as well I suppose), the 49ers could net some decent picks. I'd lean towards more of the former, but who knows.
Even if the 49ers only end up with a seventh round comp pick or two, plenty can be done with those kinds of picks. Whether it be finding a Bruce Miller diamond in the rough, or using a comp pick to grab a guy you would otherwise hope to secure as an undrafted free agent, there are plenty of great possibilities in the final round of the draft.