Loss Of Timmons Only Brings Steelers 5th Round Compensatory Pick Value

The Pittsburgh Steelers have already lost two of their own unrestricted free agents to other teams so far during the 2017 NFL league year as linebacker Lawrence Timmons and wide receiver Markus Wheaton have both signed contracts with the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears respectively. Whenever a team loses an unrestricted free agent during the prime signing period, which now is believed to end two weeks after the draft is completed, it’s easy to start thinking ahead as to how the losses will ultimately factor into the compensatory draft pick formula.

On the surface, the Steelers losing Timmons to the Dolphins via a two-year, $12 million free agent contract that reportedly included $11 million in guaranteed money would normally have one thinking that’s a high valued loss when it comes to the compensatory draft pick formula. However, being as Timmons is a 10-year veteran, his compensatory formula value is automatically lowered as Over the Cap pointed out in a recent post.


The highest round DeMarcus Ware, Andrew Whitworth, Julius Peppers, Lawrence Timmons and Lorenzo Alexander can be valued at is the 5th round. This is due to the Alan Faneca rule that declares that any CFA with ten or more accrued seasons may be valued no higher than a 5th rounder. For this reason, Denver, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Buffalo should not expect anything more than a 5th for these players—and teams interested in signing this class of players can spend more than the estimated $6.35 million APY without jeopardizing any 3rd or 4th round valued CFAs they may have lost. Teams managing any internal cancellation charts should adjust accordingly.


As you can see, Timmons’ loss via free agency this year is only expected to bring the Steelers a fifth-round value when it comes to the compensatory draft pick formula for 2018.

As for the loss of Wheaton to the Bears, it’s still unclear as to what round of a compensatory selection he’ll qualify for when it comes to the Steelers because we still don’t know the specifics related to the two-year free agent contract that he reportedly signed.

While the Steelers still stand to lose a few more of their unrestricted free agents in the coming days or weeks, one can easily speculate that when and if that happens, no huge contracts will be signed.

Linebacker Jarvis Jones may perhaps ultimately sign the largest free agent contract of the remaining group of unsigned players if not ultimately re-signed by the Steelers. In case you’re curious, Jones, running back DeAngelo Williams, defensive end Ricardo Mathews, safety Shamarko Thomas, and center Cody Wallace are currently the Steelers remaining unsigned unrestricted free agents at the time of this post.

Also, please keep in mind that if the Steelers sign any unrestricted free agents from other teams during the main signing period, those might ultimately need to be factored into the compensatory formula as gains and especially if those contracts are for more than the league minimum.

  • terrygordon30

    Even if Timmons was a five year veteran, his contract probably would not have factored in very highly even if he plays all 16 games. 6 million a year for two years usually does not translate into high picks anymore.

  • Michael James

    Nobody signed Jarvis Jones so far? Shocker…

  • Conserv_58

    I have yet to read where Jarvice has been shown interest from other teams, let alone be invited to their facilities.

  • LucasY59

    lots of 2013 draft busts in FA this yr and most are not getting much as far as offers/$$$/contracts

  • LucasY59

    so if D-lo signs elsewhere he is a “Faneca” rule guy as well?

    getting a 5th is better than nothing, not sure that the 6 mil yrly avg would get them more than a 4th (if he wasnt a 10 yr vet) but the $ is enough that they should be confident they are getting a 5th

  • steelersfan

    Maybe this is just me but I really hope Colbert isn’t factoring the prospect of getting compensatory picks into his decision making. They are icing on the cake in my opinion.

  • Dale

    Does anyone have any idea what the rationale for the rule is? Obviously the whole compensatory pick algorithm is shrouded in mystery, and maybe we should be grateful that there’s at least one clear rule, but this seems especially arbitrary.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    This is good to keep in mind. There are guys like Ware, Peppers and Harrison that can still do a good job even in their 30’s. The compensation is less so if you just need a couple of guys to get you over the top, the older guys might help. It seems like some positions work better for longevity.

    Of course it’s better to find a younger gem that could stick around for a,long time but they also may cost a lot more.

  • Ralph Wagner

    The Steelers will sign him at a minimum salary. Jarvis Jone will haunt us forever. LOL

  • Michael Mosgrove

    2012 draftees are worse off. 6 of 32 signed atm.

  • steelersfan

    Slow news day today. Cmon Colbert strike now!

  • Michael Conrad

    Jarvis will be back nobody wants him . I’m not worried about losing Timmions or Wheaton they wanted more then they are worth . I wish them luck. I would like the Steelers to pick up a DB just to add to the mix and boy I can’t tell you how much they need a safety to mix it up with Mitchell.

  • John A Stewart

    Jarvis is not that bad come on .

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Yeah, I feel like people would like him a lot more if he wasn’t drafted in the first round. If he’s a backup, making backup money, he’s a solid player who knows the system. It might be best for him to get a fresh start somewhere where the expectations aren’t the same, but he’s still not a bad guy to have on the team.

  • Jeff Burton

    A starting ILB of Timmons caliber is certainly worth 6 million a year. That is actually very low for someone who is consistently the team’s leading tackler which Timmons was last year, by far, with 114 tackles. He’s the lynch pin of the Steeler’s interior run defense. They didn’t even attempt to negotiate with him even though they had the money to re-sign him. Yet another in the long list of idiot moves with high performing veteran players by the Steelers brass and given Timmons’ production last year there is no indication that his game is declining.

  • marcellus

    meanwhile the patriots obtain the 23 year old (2//1000 yard seasons already) brandon cooks and have made multi moves improving their team. the best never rest. what happened to the days when steelers signed players like bettis and farrior in off season. i know,,, they are the mighty steelers of YESTERYEAR.

  • Steve

    Jarvis is not bad for a Special Teamer. Just don’t put him at the OLB spot. Jones can’t set the edge, that was shown in the Dolphin game when they ran right at him and Gained Mucho yardage. He’s a one trick pony, while rushing the passer. So don’t expect any sacks from him either.

  • Steve

    Jarvis IS that bad, why do you think he was benched. Seen little playing time at the OLB position, unless Harrison was gassed.

  • Steve

    Timmons was one of the leaders of missed tackles also. Why should the Steelers sign Timmons when they have Vince Williams signed and ready to go?

  • The Big Cheese

    Dave, a potential comp pick is one thing, but how does LT leaving impact the draft? This may move Reddick more into play at 30, if he’s still there.

  • Jon Crissinger

    I’m really starting to think this draft will mimic the 2007 draft where Tomlin was in his first year. The edge class is so deep someone will be there in the second round and I think Jarrad Davis might be our first pick.

  • Jeff Burton

    When you make almost twice as many tackles (114) as the next player on the team (Shazier with 67) you are bound to be a leader in the missed tackles category as well. It means that Timmons had a hand in even more plays than the incredibly high tackle out put. Also he had 2.5 sacks, 2 ints, 5 pass def, 1 forced fumble and 5 stuffs (which equals 30 pts, 36 if you count the pat). Yes, it’s good we have Vince Williams but with the way Shazier gets injured there’s no guarantee he will be filling Timmons shoes. The Steelers create a Draft need where none existed and make themselves a worse team in Free Agency again as they almost always do.

  • Zarbor

    If he cost us a bucket of chicken and not one fry more, I don’t mind. He’s good on special teams and not a terrible backup. We still have Shamarko whom I see no different than Jarvis. Hopefully they get better to be serviceable backups. I have no problem with cheap backups.

  • Steve

    IMHO Lawrence Timmons may have been the leading tackler on the team, but at 31 how many more years do you think he can keep this up? Vince is 27 and in his prime and we do have Dirty Red waiting to get a chance, backing up the ILB’s. So it is not a need that they go out and get someone else as you say.