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For teams with multiple first round draft picks, what are the rules defining which first round draft pick that a team would need to give up if it signs a restricted free agent (RFA) that have the first round tender? An example would be the Cleveland Browns, which have the 4th and 22nd draft picks in the first round of the 2012 draft. One writer, Bill Barnwell, noted:

If we understand the rules right, a successful bid on Wallace would force the Browns to give up their selection — the fourth overall pick — and not the 22nd overall pick they received from the Falcons as part of the Julio Jones trade last year.

Does anyone have a reference/citation to the rule that Mr. Barnwell mentioned?

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Good question. There's nothing obvious in article 9 of the CBA preventing them from giving up the #22 pick instead, but perhaps it's covered elsewhere in the 300+ pages. I'll keep digging. – Michael Myers Mar 13 '12 at 20:32
I couldn't find anything, but it's hard to prove something isn't true without finding explicit language to the contrary. – Michael Myers Mar 14 '12 at 13:21
@MichaelMyers, agreed - I couldn't find anything either. – JW8 Mar 14 '12 at 16:18
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I finally found something in the CBA: Article 9 Section 3 (c)

Any Club that does not have available, in the upcoming Draft, the selection choice or choices (its own or better choices in the applicable rounds) needed to provide Draft Choice Compensation in the event of a timely First Refusal Exercise Notice may not sign an Offer Sheet in such circumstances.

This seems to indicate that you get the best pick available from the team signing the player you've tendered.

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+1, nice find! Exactly what I was hoping to see... – JW8 Mar 14 '12 at 19:21
I don't know that it would necessarily be the best pick; it looks like the team just has the option of giving you a better one if they already traded away their normal pick. – Michael Myers Mar 14 '12 at 20:09
@MichaelMyers True, it's a rather flimsy argument and I wouldn't take it to a lawyer :). – wax eagle Mar 14 '12 at 20:16

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