On Wednesday, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson indicated that the Pittsburgh Steelers could suffer a modification or forfeiture of draft picks as a result of the Thursday night sideline incident in the game against the Baltimore Ravens. Those potential modifications, according to Anderson's statement, will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined. Now, we might have a little clarity as to why we may have to wait that long.
According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a league source said Wednesday that Anderson is waiting to see if there are any “unforeseen ramifications" from the interference with kickoff return. As Fittipaldo explains, those "unforeseen ramifications" could be things such as tiebreaking procedures that go into determining not only playoff qualification and seeding, but also draft order for teams that don't make the playoffs.
In other words, should the Ravens loss of a potential touchdown or Steelers gain in not allowing one factor into any seeding when it comes to potential tiebreakers for the playoffs or draft order, that's when a draft pick or picks modification or forfeiture might come into play.
If indeed that is what Anderson really means, then I suppose his decision to delay the process makes sense. It wouldn't have hurt, however, for him to come right out and say it in his release regarding Tomlin's punishment.
Hopefully Anderson or someone from the league office will further clarify if indeed this is the reasoning behind the Steelers having to be in wait-and-see mode.