The one thing I would add to Naismith’s point is that teams also sign FA players to 1 year deals and trade late round picks for veterans on the end of their deals.
That’s something the Patriots have done well for a while. The downside is capped (a late round pick and the player is cut) and the upside is production and a new deal or compensatory pick in the 3-7 range.
Yeah, the Bucs signings this offseason would seem to indicate an interest in setting up for future comp picks had they given any reason to believe they cared about them. Giving guys like Barrett or Perriman one year deals sets them up to earn bigger contracts that could return picks to the Bucs if they don’t bring them back.
I especially think you should buy low on guys that have limited time left in their rookie deals, that haven’t worked out for whatever reason. The Chiefs just traded a conditional sixth for Darron Lee and he has one year left on his deal. If it doesn’t work out, they’re out a sixth (or lower, depending on conditions). If he plays well, great for them in 2019 and likely gets them a better 2021 pick than they gave up to give him a trial season.
I first became interested in the compensatory picks (and the pick swaps, which is another thing good franchises do) after the Bucs traded Talib and 7th for a 4th and the Patriots ended up getting a third back when Talib left. They allowed Talib to leave and got a third round pick and replaced him with Revis, who the Bucs just cut, and then let him leave a year later and got another third round pick. It is crazy to not prioritize a system that allows this competitive advantage.