Former Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, will play in 2016 under a one-year, $1.25 million deal.
His new contract includes $390,000 in guaranteed money, which comes in the form of a signing bonus. The deal obviously gives Upshaw a chance to improve his value before he likely heads back on the free-agent market next offseason.
As for the Ravens, it also should be enough for them to get back on the positive side of the compensation draft pick formula for next year.
The exact formula remains a bit of a mystery. We do know that teams are awarded compensatory picks when they lose more or better true unrestricted free agents than they signed. Beyond that, size of contracts and playing time also factor in the formula.
It's impossible at this point to know for sure whether Upshaw's new deal will qualify the Ravens for a compensatory selection, but it certainly puts them on much better footing.
The Ravens have signed two true unrestricted free agents: tight end Benjamin Watson and safety Eric Weddle. Mike Wallace doesn't count as part of the formula because he was released by the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the Ravens.
They have lost four true unrestricted free agents: Upshaw and quarterback Matt Schaub (Falcons); offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele (Oakland Raiders), and wide receiver Chris Givens (Philadelphia Eagles). Middle linebacker Daryl Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and safety Brynden Trawick (Raiders) don't count toward the compensatory formula because the Ravens let them both go.
Givens won't count toward the formula either, because he essentially signed for the veteran minimum. Still, Upshaw's deal should mean that the Ravens are plus-one in comp picks and could recoup the one for Osemele that was initially lost when they signed Weddle.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said last week that the belief that the team would get a fourth-round compensatory pick, rather than a third rounder, for the Osemele loss contributed to them being more aggressive in signing unrestricted free agents.
To get Weddle and Watson and a fourth-round compensatory pick in an offseason where they had precious few top free agents would be a nice coup for the Ravens. However, they could lose that potential comp pick by signing another unrestricted free agent over the next couple of weeks.