And what exactly is a qualifying offer? And is it a 1 yr/$13.3MM deal or am I confused?
In years past the CBA broke down free agents into "types". I forget how they actually graded players, but basically speaking a Type A free agent when signed by a new team, gave 2 compensation round(between first and second round) draft picks to the team that the player originally came from. Type B FA gave one draft pick in that round. The idea was that small market teams who couldn't sign players to a long term deal would turn around and get fair market compensation to develop new young talent. Small market teams such as Tampa did very well with this very system.
The problem ensued when many teams would trade for a rental player mid-season and use that player to try and stock pile picks in the draft. The new CBA throws out the old system and makes every free agent available to what is called a qualifying offer. The qualifying offer is a one year deal based off of the average median salary for players or something akin to that. This year that value is 13.3 Million. If a player declines a qualifying offer and instead choose to become a free agent AND don't sign with the team that extended the qualifying offer, THEN the team that extended the offer gets ONE compensation round draft pick.
This system keeps everyone in check, or at least it is thought to. For instance, last year Mike Rizzo acquired Jonny Gomes from the Reds in hopes that he would be a Type B Free Agent and would garner a compensation pick. Now under the new CBA, no GM or owner in their right mind would offer a one year 13.3 Million dollar deal to Jonny Gomes because he isn't worth that much money and he would most definitely take it. This way, mediocre talent can't be turned into a high round pick.
As a side note, Jonny Gomes stunk up so bad last year that he didn't even qualify as a Type B free agent so there was no compensation pick.