The NFL owners’ meetings get underway Monday in Orlando, FL and if the league keeps the same schedule as last year, we should know what compensatory picks the Pittsburgh Steelers will be awarded by the end of that first day.
Last offseason, the Steelers lost five unrestricted free agents that signed with other teams and made the 53 man roster during the primary signing period. Those players were Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Mundy and Will Allen.
In addition to those loses, the Steelers signed two unrestricted free agents from other teams that wound up making their own 53 man roster. Those two players were Bruce Gradkowski and LaRod Stephens-Howling.
The Steelers should receive a third-compensatory draft pick for the loss of Wallace. As far as Lewis goes, that should result in ether a fourth or fifth-round compensator pick next week. I’m betting on a fifth, but am of course hoping for a fourth.
As far as Mendenhall goes, I have a feeling that the signing of Gradkowski will cancel out that loss. In the case of Allen, I will be surprised if the Steelers receive anything for him, because not only did he sign for the minimum, he was released by the Dallas Cowboys early on in the season.
That leaves us with Mundy. Like Stephens-Howling, he signed for the minimum. However, Stephens-Howling was lost for the season to an injury in the season opener, while Mundy played well over half of the defensive snaps logged by the New York Giants last season. If those two players don’t cancel each other out in the compensatory formula, then the best the Steelers can hope for is a seventh-round pick, in my opinion.
So what am I expecting the Steelers to get? A third and a fifth.
What should we all be hoping for? A third, a fourth and a seventh.
Below is a look at the free agent gains and loses of the Steelers last offseason along with the contracts those players signed.
Steelers 2013 Free Agent Losses:
WR Mike Wallace – Miami Dolphins – Signed a five year, $60 million contract that paid him $12 million in 2013.
CB Keenan Lewis – New Orleans Saints – Signed a five-year, $25.55 million contract that paid him $7 million in 2013.
RB Rashard Mendenhall – Arizona Cardinals – Signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract that paid him $2.5 million-plus possible incentives in 2013.
S Will Allen – Dallas Cowboys – Signed a one-year, $905,000 contract.
S Ryan Mundy – New York Giants – Signed a one-year, $780,000 contract.
Steelers Free Agent Additions:
QB Bruce Gradkowski – Cincinnati Bengals – Signed a three-year, $4.95 million contract that paid him $1.85 million in 2013.
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling – Arizona Cardinals – Signed a one-year, $780,000 contract.