On Monday the deadline for newly-signed unrestricted free agents counting against the NFL’s compensatory draft pick formula passed unceremoniously at 4 p.m. ET. That helps explain why the Baltimore Ravens waited until today to consummate a deal with former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. It also means that any unrestricted free agents who are signed going forward this year will not figure into the equation.
That said, it’s possible to reliably predict that the Steelers will receive two compensatory picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
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Third- and Fifth-Round Picks Forthcoming?
According to Nick Korte of overthecap.com, the Steelers are expected to receive a third-round selection for losing outside linebacker Bud Dupree to Tennessee, as the former Kentucky Wildcats star signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Titans in mid-March. The selection is expected to be the highest compensatory pick awarded, and one of only two awarded for player losses, with the other expected to go to the Detroit Lions for losing wide receiver Kenny Golladay to the New York Giants.
Meanwhile, Korte also projects that the Steelers will receive a fifth-round pick for losing offensive lineman Matt Feiler to the Los Angeles Chargers. In March Feiler inked a three-year, $21 million deal with the Chargers, having started 40 games for the Steelers since 2017.
You may recall that the Steelers also lost slot cornerback Mike Hilton to the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency, but Korte expects that that loss will be cancelled out by the Steelers signing offensive guard/tackle Joe Haeg away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Finally, the Steelers also saw James Conner leave after he received a one-year contract from the Arizona Cardinals. Likewise linebacker Ola Adeniyi got a one-year deal from the Tennessee Titans. However, neither of those agreements qualify to be included in the compensatory equation.
2022 Compensatory Picks Going Elsewhere in the AFC North
As for Pittsburgh’s AFC North rivals, the Ravens are slated to receive a third-rounder for losing David Culley, who is the new head coach of the Houston Texans, as well as two extra fourth-round selections for losing edge rushers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency. Judon accepted a four-year, $54.5 million contract from the New England Patriots and Ngakoue received a two-year, $26 million contract from the Las Vegas Raiders.
Korte also has the Cincinnati Bengals getting a fourth-rounder for the departure of edge rusher Carl Lawson, who inked a three-year, $45 million contract with the New York Jets. The Cleveland Browns are not expected to receive any compensatory picks next year.
The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28-30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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