Potential movement on Steelers' draft pick has to do with tie-breaking scenarios

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

A Post-Gazette report Wednesday cites a league source who confirmed the league is reserving its right to alter potential Steelers' draft picks due to as-of-now unforeseen tie-breaking scenarios for the postseason as well as the draft.

Reservations on including draft pick reductions may have a link to deep tiebreakers, writes Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittipaldo.

The deeper tie-breaking scenarios for the playoffs as well as the NFL draft go, it eventually gets to strength of victory and point differential scenarios. Fittipaldo is quoting a source that told him the reservation on the pick is due to what may happen in potential tie-breaking scenarios because of the play.

...a league source said today that Anderson is waiting to see if there are any "unforeseen ramifications from the interference with play." Those "unforeseen ramifications" could be things such as tiebreaking procedures that go into determining playoff qualification or seeding.
Tomlin’s step onto the field did not affect the outcome of the game, but the Ravens did not score on the play. They settled for a field goal on the ensuing drive, which theoretically could skew playoff scenarios. For instance, the sixth tiebreaking procedure to determine a wild card playoff berth is best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.

This fills in a lot of blanks surrounding the issue (and a nice bit of reporting on Fittipaldo's part). However, it is essentially saying the league feels there is enough evidence to suggest Jones could have scored a touchdown on the play. Baltimore settled for a field goal on the possession - one in which running back Ray Rice was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

That's the same penalty the Steelers should have been assessed for Tomlin having been on the field during play.

It gets really murky around this point, but if it does happen to come down to one of those tie-breakers, it appears as if the league is saying the Steelers would lose it by default.

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