According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an league source informed them that the Steelers are unlikely to lose a draft pick, despite the fact that the league has kept that option open as a part of the punishment handed out to HC Mike Tomlin.
The source mentioned that the NFL would only dock the Steelers a draft pick if the Ravens would-be touchdown affects playoff tiebreakers.
The NFL determined that Ravens WR Jacoby Jones may have scored a touchdown had Tomlin not interfered with his path on the kickoff. They wound up kicking a field goal, which means they lost four points because of the interference.
The good news for Pittsburgh is that it’s very rare for point differential to come into play for teams competing for playoff spots. Baltimore is currently fighting for both the AFC North title and a wildcard spot so we’ll have to see what happens in the next few weeks before knowing whether or not the Steelers are safe.
- Rapoport adds that league will consider either taking away a draft pick or downgrading one of their selections once the final order is set.
This is a huge penalty from the league for not only Tomlin, but the Steelers as well. They can hardly afford to lose a draft pick given the current state of their roster, so we’ll have to see what comes of this in the next few weeks.
For what it’s worth, Pittsburgh would hold the No. 10 overall pick if the season were to end today. (Projected 2014 NFL Draft Order)
On Tuesday, Tomlin did an admirable job accepting the blame for his actions while trying to distance the Steelers from being reasonable for the incident. Clearly, the league is looking to set a precedent with this punishment.
Here’s a statement released by Mike Tomlin:
“As I stated yesterday, I take full responsibility for my actions, and I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. I accept the penalty that I received. I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.”
We’ll have more updates as the news is available.