A reader emailed me on Thursday and asked what I thought the Pittsburgh Steelers might possibly receive in the form compensatory draft picks next offseason due to all the losses that they had this offseason. In order to venture a guess at this, you first have to look at the contracts signed by each and every free agent lost and signed prior to the cutoff date of June 1st.
Steelers Free Agent Loses:
WR Mike Wallace – Miami Dolphins – Signed a five year, $60 million contract that will pay him $12 million in 2013 and have an average base salary of $9.75 million.
CB Keenan Lewis – New Orleans Saints – Signed a five-year, $25.55 million contract that will pay him $7 million in 2013 and have an average base salary of $3.56 million.
RB Rashard Mendenhall – Arizona Cardinals – Signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract that will pay him $2.5 million-plus possible incentives in 2013 and have an average base salary of $2 million.
T Max Starks – San Diego Chargers – Signed a one-year, $1 million contract that will pay him $1 million-plus possible incentives in 2013 and have an average base salary of $1 million.
S Will Allen – Dallas Cowboys – Signed a one-year, $905,000 contract that will pay him $905,000 in 2013 and have an average base salary of $840,000.
S Ryan Mundy – New York Giants – Signed a one-year, $780,000 contract that will pay him $780,000 in 2013 and have an average base salary of $715,000.
Steelers Free Agent Additions:
QB Bruce Gradkowski – Cincinnati Bengals – Signed a three-year, $4.95 million contract that will pay him $1.85 million in 2013 and have an average base salary of $1,366,666.67 million.
P Brian Moorman – Dallas Cowboys – Signed a one-year, $940,000 contract that will pay him $940,000 in 2013 and have an average base salary of $940,000.
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling – Arizona Cardinals – Signed a one-year, $780,000 contract that will pay him $780,000 in 2013 and have an average base salary of $715,000.
Summation: Judging by past years, the contracts signed by both Mundy and Stephens-Howling aren\’t likely to be big enough to be counted in the compensatory formula, so regardless if either makes their respective teams, I think that both are non factors when it comes to compensation.
Assuming that Allen makes the Cowboys roster and Moorman wins the Steelers punting job out of training camp, then both should cancel each other out. However, should Moorman not make the Steelers roster and Allen sticks with the Cowboys, and assuming that his salary qualifies in the formula, the Steelers very well could receive a seventh-round compensatory pick as a result.
The signing of Gradkowski will likely cancel out the loss of either Mendenhall or Starks, so that would leave the Steelers with a net loss of either three or four qualified free agents depending on what happens with both Moorman and Allen.
There is no doubt in my mind that Wallace will result in the Steelers receiving a third-round compensatory pick based on the contract that he signed.
Based on the size of the contract signed by Lewis, I would venture to guess that the Steelers will receive a fifth-round compensatory pick for his loss based on past history.
As far as Starks and Mendenhall go, it likely won\’t matter which of the two that the signing of Gradkowski cancels out. At best, I can see the Steelers receiving a seventh-round pick for whichever one of the two players that counts as a loss.
Conclusion: At best, I think the Steelers will receive third, fifth and two seventh-round compensatory picks in the 2014 draft and at worst a third, fifth and a seventh.
As long as we get that third to cancel out the one they traded away this year.
Why did the Steelers not bring back Allen at 900K for one year. Leaves us thin at backup safety. I thought he did a good job.
Matt Spaeth was released by the Bears and Doug Legursky was post June 1st.
Wow, figured we’d receive higher than a 5th rd pick for Lewis, but I have no clue what goes into this compensatory formula.
Whoops, didn’t mean to reply to you, kakello34.
Interesting. Though doesn’t 2013 performance, including total snaps played, yards gained, and awards earned, factor into the formula? So if say Mendenhall has a career year and Keen Lewis earns a Pro Bowl bid, even as an alternate, the Steelers get a potential upgrade in compensatory pick value?
Just trying to remember if I have the system right or if it is just money now.
I don’t think we are thin at Safety. We still have Golden, Cromartie-Smith, and drafted Shamarko Thomas! Granted they are unproven but “Shark” Thomas fits the physical style of play the Steelers like. Thomas will turn heads this preseason and I can’t wait to see him play!! The FO must of felt comfortable with what they had with regards depth at Safety to let Allen go.
IMO, the Steelers will be lucky to get a 3rd, 5th, & 7th in any scenario–and it wouldn’t surprise me if those picks aren’t the last one in each rd. Why ??? the “league” has screwed the Steelers on prior compensatory picks and will do so again… NE and Baltimore always get more favorable selections than do the Steelers… just another “little jab” by Goodell and associates. Expect NE to get a 1st or 2nd for Welker.
The 3rd is a lock for Wallace. I think a 4th for Lewis is not unreachable, based on his playing time and how well he does. Then maybe one or two more in the lower rounds (6th, or 7th). I think we’ll wind up with 9 total picks in 2014, just my hunch.
As far as I know, salary and overall playing time/snaps are the two biggest factors.. also ‘postseason’ honors
I don’t think ANY Team can acquire 1st or 2nd Rd comp picks… compensatory picks are positioned within the 3rd through 7th Rds
Correct. 33rd pick in the third round is the best you can get.
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