The Vikings have let two former pro-bowl players sign with other teams via free agency this offseason. Also, they have done minimal in the way of signing free agents so far this offseason. So, the departure of Matt Birk and Darren Sharper combined with the lack of contracts being handed out by the Vikings should result in some compensation draft picks in 2010.
While scout.com reports that the Vikings could receive a 3rd rounder next year, it came as a shock to the Steelers when they only received a 5th round pick as compensation for losing Alan Faneca in free agency. While little is known about the compensation pick formula used by the NFL, it was clarified that players over 30 years old will only result in a 5th round pick or worse.
Both Birk and Sharper are over 30 years old, so it is likely that the maximum the Vikings could receive next year is two 5th round picks. A 5th and a 6th is more likely. Either way, more picks are more picks, and will help this team build a future through the draft.
It is, however, possible that changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement could result in changes to the compensatory draft pick formula and policies, but these changes are unlikely to affect the 2010 draft.