ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 03: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts against Los Angeles Rams in the second half during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

In what is clearly the biggest news of the day relating to the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots have been awarded four compensatory picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. The NFL hands out extra draft picks to teams who lose players in free agency, with higher selections given out to players who get bigger contracts. Thanks to 2018’s free agency, New England enters 2019 with two extra third-round picks, one extra sixth-round pick, and an additional seventh-round pick.

Per the NFL rules, no team is allowed to gain more than four compensatory picks, and none of those picks can come before the end of the third round. While the NFL doesn’t officially announce which free agent signees correspond to which pick, it’s pretty easy to figure it out.

New England gained their extra third-round picks after losing Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler to massive contracts with the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans, respectively. The sixth-round pick comes from Danny Amendola’s departure to the Miami Dolphins, while the seventh-round selection is thanks to Cameron Fleming joining the Dallas Cowboys.

The Patriots enter the 2019 NFL Draft flush with draft capital. When adding these four selections, New England enters the draft with a staggering 12 draft selections. These aren’t just late-round picks either, as New England has six selections within the top three rounds. The Patriots current draft selections are as follows:

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