The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to receive two compensation drafts in 2022.
The NFL is doing everything it can to strike a balance. After all, a one-sided league does nothing for ratings, players, fans, or even owners who want to make some batter on their respective clubs. Many rules and regulations are put in place to ensure that good teams have a hard time transforming into perennial powerhouses and to give fighting teams an opportunity to turn the tide for the better.
“Perfectly balanced as all things should be,” Thanos once said.
One of these provisions is in the form of draft compensation awarded by the NFL. OverTheCap has a brilliant article that explains the reasons for compensating picks and how to award them. Simply put, if a player leaves and signs a very large contract, that player would likely bring more choices to their old team than a player who signs a smaller deal. An equalization selection for the third round in the draft of the following year is currently the highest awarded by the league.
OverTheCap makes it clear that not every free agent qualifies their old team for an offset selection:
“It is important to note that only certain players qualify for the compensation formula. These are only players whose contracts are about to expire. Players being terminated are the most common example of free agents who cannot become CFAs, but other methods of disqualification such as There are also restricted free agents who have not been made an offer. In the most general sense, players only become compensatory free agents if they can leave their old team against that team’s will. “
For example, the Steelers lost Javon Hargrave to the free agency last season (2020) after his contract expired. Hargrave signed a deal averaging $ 13 million per season that earned the Steelers an equalizing pick for the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft. By comparison, the Steelers released Steven Nelson this off-season while he was still under contract, making him ineligible to win the Steelers as a compensating pick.
The formula used by the NFL to determine equalizing picks is still unknown, although places like OverTheCap have a pretty good idea of how it works. Where are the Steelers after an off-season with lots of moving parts to be seen?
The dust has settled for another year of free rein, and OverTheCap is currently letting the Steelers make offsetting rounds for the third and fifth rounds for the 2022 NFL draft. Pittsburgh is looking to get a third out of the loss of Bud Dupree, who signed a deal that grosses him $ 16.5 million per season annually. The Steelers are just one of six teams that the 2022 NFL Draft predicts an equalizer selection for round three.
The loss of Matt Feiler also appears to give the Steelers a fifth-round election, as Feiler has signed a $ 7 million-a-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers. And although the Steelers lost Mike Hilton, Joe Haeg’s signing essentially canceled each other out due to their respective contractual values in the compensation formulas.
While there is still time to change the Steelers’ pick, a decent return to next season’s blueprint appears to be on the books for Pittsburgh. Often these picks can change during the regular season through additions or subtractions, as compensation picks are not completed until after the end of the season.
This would be Pittsburgh’s fourth third-round equalization selection, tying the Dallas Cowboys for the highest amount in the league since OverTheCap tracked them back in 1995.
Donnie Druin is Associate Editor at AllSteelers. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin and AllSteelers @si_steelers.
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