The Panthers used a sixth-round compensatory draft choice in 2010 to select quarterback Tony Pike. * * * The Panthers have been awarded three compensatory draft choices in the 2011 NFL Draft, the NFL announced Friday. Carolina received selections in the third (97th overall), sixth (203rd overall) and seventh (243rd overall) rounds, giving them a total of eight picks in next month's draft.
Each year, a team could be eligible to receive compensatory draft choices based on whether or not the team lost more qualifying compensatory free agents than it acquired in the previous league year's free agency period. Most often, a qualifying compensatory free agent is defined as a player who was signed or lost in the category of unrestricted free agent and remained on the signing team's roster during the regular season.
A team may receive up to four compensatory selections in a draft. The number of picks awarded and round of the choices are determined by a formula - developed by the NFL Management Council - that is based on salary, playing time and postseason honors of both the players lost and signed. The highest possible compensatory selection that can be given is at the conclusion of the third round. However, not every free agent lost by a club results in a compensatory pick.
Last year, the Panthers lost quarterback A.J. Feeley and defensive end Julius Peppers as unrestricted free agents and did not sign any unrestricted free agents.
By rule, additional compensatory selections are awarded at the end of the seventh round to bring the total number of compensatory choices in the draft to 32, equaling the number of NFL clubs. As a result, the Panthers gained a third compensatory pick based upon the 2011 draft order.
The extra draft choices will supplement Carolina's other five selections in the seven-round draft April 28-30. In addition to the three compensatories, the Panthers have picks in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. They traded their second-rounder to New England in order to draft wide receiver Armanti Edwards last year and sent their seventh-rounder to Green Bay for long snapper J.J. Jansen in 2009.
Carolina has received 13 total compensatory selections in franchise history: one in 1998, one in 2002, three in 2005, two in 2008, three in 2010 and three this year.