The NFL Management Council announced the 2007 compensatory draft picks on Monday, and awarded two seventh-round selections to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Steelers.com and ProFootballTalk.com were the first media outlets to break the story.
The Bucs will have the 35th and 36th picks in the seventh round – picks 245 and 246 overall. Although the NFL Management Council's decision-making process is subjective and its reasoning is never explained, it is believed that the Bucs were awarded the two seventh-rounders for losing starting free safety Dexter Jackson, backup fullback Jameel Cook and reserve offensive lineman Todd Steussie in free agency in 2006. Jackson was the only starter that did not return to Tampa Bay last year.
Tampa Bay's only free agent signing was linebacker Jamie Winborn.
Bucs officials were privately hoping for a sixth-round compensatory pick instead of two seventh-rounders.
The Bucs now enter the 2007 NFL Draft armed with nine draft picks: a first-rounder, two second-rounders (including Indianapolis' pick at No. 32), a third-rounder, a fourth-rounder, a fifth-rounder and three seventh-rounders, including the two compensatory picks. Tampa Bay traded its sixth-round pick to the New York Jets in exchange for tight end Doug Jolley last August.
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