There are some NFL players who struggle to find a home. Even those who were high draft picks can bounce around the league once their rookie contracts expire, and that is exactly what has happened with former 2016 NFL Draft second round pick safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers Sean Davis.
When Davis’ last season in Pittsburgh ended with a torn labrum in his shoulder, he hit free agency after the 2019 season. The Washington Football Team gave him a contract, but Davis failed to make the team. Where he ended up was just where he started, with the Steelers.
In 2020 Davis was nothing more than a glorified special teams player, only seeing snaps at safety when Terrell Edmunds sat out the regular season finale vs. the Cleveland Browns.
A free agent again, Davis recently visited with the Indianapolis Colts, and has decided to sign a one-year contract with Indianapolis. This per Adam Schefter of ESPN:
The loss of Davis won’t bother the Steelers fan base too much, considering Davis was never the dynamic player fans expected when he returned last season, but one thing which does concern the fan base is the compensatory pick formula.
Co-Editor of BTSC Dave Schofield outlined this formula in an article today, and here is what fans should know about the process:
While net gains or losses in the number of players are what determines if a team gets compensatory draft picks, it’s only among qualifying players. So the question is if the Steelers have a net loss of Compensatory Free Agents (CFAs) towards the 2022 compensatory formula. As a reminder, Street Free Agents, who are players who were released by their previous team and did not have their contract expire, do not qualify as CFAs. In other words, the signing of B.J. Finney does not negatively affect the Steelers compensatory formula.
While there are other factors that will ultimately determine any compensatory draft picks the Steelers could receive in 2022, it begins with the contract the departing player signed. Looking at the yearly average, players are designated into rounds for compensation.
In order for a player to be deemed a CFA, they must fall in the top 35% of the NFL. At this time, overthecap.com has any salaries less than $2 million a season not landing in the top 35% and therefore not qualifying as a CFA. Additionally, any contract signed that qualifies for the veteran salary benefit does not qualify as a CFA.
So, while some fans might view Davis’ departure as a positive for the Steelers, in regards of players gained vs. players lost, they should remember it all depends on how much the Colts are paying Davis.
Nonetheless, another Steelers free agent has found a home, but big name players like Alejandro Villanueva and James Conner are still searching for their next NFL home. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they press on through Free Agency and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.