The Ravens have lost a number of players in free agency this offseason.
But they did last year too.
That's why Baltimore was awarded four compensatory NFL draft picks Monday at the owners meetings, tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the most of any team in the league.
The Ravens will get an extra draft pick in the fourth (130 overall), fifth (168), sixth (203) and seventh round (247).
Baltimore will enter the NFL draft on April 25th with a whopping 12 draft picks, a 50 percent increase from the eight they previously had.
It gives them the ammunition to revitalize a roster that has lost eight players who started at least one game last year, and could allow them to better maneuver around the draft board via trades.
The Ravens already had the normal seven picks, got a sixth-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers in the Anquan Boldin trade, and now have four compensatory picks.
The Ravens got the maximum number of compensatory picks because, according to the NFL Management Council's formula, a team losing more or better free agents than it* *acquired in the previous year is eligible to receive picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents.
Last year, Baltimore lost Ben Grubbs (New Orleans), Jarret Johnson (San Diego), Cory Redding (Indianapolis), Tom Zbikowski (Indianapolis), Haruki Nakamura (Carolina), and Brandon McKinney (Indianapolis) in free agency. Everyone except McKinney started at least some games with their new teams.
While the Ravens have often seen their players depart for other teams and larger paydays, the compensatory pick system compensates a team like Baltimore.
The Ravens have received the most compensatory picks of any team in the league since it began being awarded in 1994 (37). Green Bay is closest with 31.
"To me, that is the clearest indication to me that we draft as well as anybody," Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said.
"Because if you lead the league in comp picks, and you spend to cap every year like we do, then the proof is that every guy we let go we let go because we financially can't fit them under the cap. And if we end up with the most picks, then that says it all with the job that Ozzie [Newsome, General Manager] and Eric [DeCosta, assistant general manager] do."
Considering it's widely-known that Newsome covets draft picks, and the Ravens have a strong draft track record, it makes the losses in free agency* *less damaging.
The Ravens have done well with their compensatory picks before, even though they are in the lower rounds. Last year they got safety Christian Thompson and cornerback Asa Jackson, and in 2011 selected defensive end Pernell McPhee and cornerback Chykie Brown. "I'm thrilled," Bisciotti said. "To be able to score four more players like that who can contribute to your team, that's what separates average teams from good teams, is having the talent in that draft room to nab contributors in those rounds."