Vikings 2016 Draft Party
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Rick Spielman’s curriculum vitae grew a bit during the 2016 NFL Draft where he again presided over the Minnesota Vikings as the team’s General Manager. Not only did he become the first to select a European player that has never played in America, Germany’s Mortiz Boehringer, but Boehringer also became the first 2016 rookie to sign his initial contract.

Some skeptics (like myself) wonder if the selection of the German wide out didn’t have more to do with expanding the franchise’s business market than it did actual on-field opportunity, but it is a fun storyline regardless of future success, so there are no complaints here.

Spielman made another move on Draft Weekend, however, that cannot be denied of its value and puts him in a position to again make NFL history.

The Miami Dolphins traded with Minnesota during the third round of the Draft. They traded up to the 86th overall selection. In return, the Vikings dropped 100 spots to the 186th spot in the Draft, which they also later traded back to Miami in a separate deal. In addition, Spielman picked up Miami’s 2017 third round selection and a 2017 conditional pick in the fourth round.

So, what exactly is the condition on that fourth rounder?

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective gives us the details surrounding the entire trade:

Wow! The Dolphins gave up next year’s third round pick for a third rounder this year, and paid a sixth this year and a fourth next year in the process.  The fourth-round pick is conditional — assuming Miami receives a compensatory selection, that pick can be used (which takes place at the end of the round) instead of Miami’s actual fourth round pick (which could, of course, be anywhere during the round based on Miami’s record in 2016).

Miami traded for a late-third round pick, so even if we assume Miami’s 2017 third round pick would also be at 86, and it’s a conditional pick (say, 135 overall), the Vikings would receive a whopping 176 cents on the dollar in this deal. Minnesota receives a free fourth and a free sixth just to be patient; that’s something good organizations frequently do. The Dolphins, and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum, have showed little inclination to be patient, and paid a significant haul for a late third round pick, especially when used on a wide receiver, one of the team’s deepest positions.

So, all Vikings fans have a reason to cheer for a terrible year in Miami next season as the worse they are the better their draft position will be, and in turn the better our third (and possibly fourth) round draft position will be.

If the Dolphins are indeed granted a fourth round compensatory pick for the 2017 Draft, however, then that is where Spielman could again make NFL history. You see, 2017 is the first year the NFL will allow compensatory picks to be traded.

If Miami gets one, then it is automatically transferred at that moment to Minnesota’s arsenal of picks, making Rick Spielman the first general manager in NFL history to receive a compensatory pick via trade. That doesn’t exactly make it something to cheer for, but it is still noteworthy.

According to Over The Cap, the Miami Dolphins are expected to receive third and fifth round compensatory picks in 2017, so there is a decent chance the scenario doesn’t play out in the way I outlined above. Projecting compensatory picks can be a tricky proposition, however, and there is plenty of room for error.

Either way, there is no doubt the Spielman got some great value out of the deal and has set himself up nicely with some added firepower in the 2017 NFL Draft.