By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick won the Super Bowl in early February. He won a couple of extra draft picks before the month was through.
On Friday, the NFL announced its rewarding of compensatory picks for the 2017 draft. The Patriots were given a fifth-round pick.
Additionally, the Browns were awarded a third-round compensatory pick. The Patriots acquired that pick in the Jamie Collins deal, and thus will be adding that pick as well.
The news leaves the Patriots well-equipped for April’s draft.
Unlike last year, the Patriots will have their first-round pick in 2017. They were stripped of their fourth-round pick for this year due to the DeflateGate penalties, but they will be picking in the fourth round after acquiring the Seahawks’ fourth-round pick.
The NFL applies an equation on compensatory free agents lost and free agents added from one year to the next in order to determine the awarding of compensatory picks.
“Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors,” the NFL explained. “The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.”
Prior to last season, the Patriots lost Tavon Wilson and Akiem Hicks, while adding Shea McClellin. The Browns were awarded their third-round pick for losing Alex Mack (along with five other players) while adding only DeMario Davis.
Given the loss of Mack, who started all year for Atlanta, Bill Belichick made the trade with Cleveland knowing that the Browns would almost assuredly be awarded this pick.