CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora is reporting Sunday the Steelers will lose a draft pick as punishment for Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin being on the field during a kick return by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13.
Tomlin was fined $100,000 for the incident, and the league has said they could still punish the team.
La Canfora indicates a league source informed him the specific punishment won't be determined until the season plays itself out, up to and including the announcement of compensatory picks.
The NFL did not stipulate the exact nature of the draft-pick penalty because in its mind this remains an open case. Tomlin’s actions could have precluded the Ravens from scoring four more points than they did, and points scored can be a possible playoff tiebreaker. So the NFL does not know the full scope of the ramifications of Tomlin’s actions, nor does it know the full-range of Pittsburgh’s draft picks as compensatory picks, for instance, are not even awarded until the NFL’s annual spring meeting. So until the league has all of the information available, no decision will be announced.
The last time the Steelers were docked a draft pick was in 2001, and that was due to a self-reported salary cap error from the 1998 season.
The pick they would remove seems more than likely to be a compensatory pick - which the Steelers are likely but not yet confirmed, to receive for he loses of wide receiver Mike Wallace and cornerback Keenan Lewis as well as others in free agency before the 2013 season. To what level those picks would be given is currently unknown, but a reasonable guess would be somewhere in 100-130 range.
La Canfora's report is it will be a "late round" pick, which is ambiguous, but that would generally indicate a sixth or seventh round pick.
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