Steelers projected to receive two compensatory picks for 2021 Draft


PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) — I haven't met a soul that doesn't like extra draft picks.

That's part of the beauty of the compensatory formula every year.

Players who work through their contract and hit the free-agency market have the potential to bring some compensatory value to their former team.

As for the Steelers, it's looking like the compensatory projection gurus from Over the Cap have predicted a couple of comps for Pittsburgh.

The formula is based on the free agents of any given off-season, the deals they sign with new teams, playoff appearances, Pro Bowl honors, and statistical significance.

While the formula has not been perfectly replicated, Over the Cap has a track record for nailing the compensatory projections.

With that being said, Over the Cap is expecting a fourth-round compensatory for Javon Hargrave's departure and a sixth-rounder for Sean Davis' exit last year.

Many of the newly signed contracts are stratified into tiers based on the average per year value (APY).

Like contracts will cancel out if a team also brings in a new deal, as was the case with Eric Ebron's addition negating B.J. Finney's signing with the Bengals.

Those two contracts nullify each other, and therefore, Finney's fifth-round compensatory valuation is disqualified.

Also worth mentioning from the cancellation chart is that while the Steelers might get a sixth-round comp for Sean Davis, it's by the skin of their teeth.

Strangely, for 2021 at least, the cutoff is partway through the sixth-round picks.

It typically goes through part of the seventh round before being cut.

This could mean that the all-time high salary cap from 2020 — that came in around $199 million — increased the APY of mid- and low-tier players, depth pieces, and special team generalists.

Another significant factor that hurt the Steelers in this case is the presence of a tanking team: the 2019 Miami Dolphins.

As the Dolphins were in rebuild mode, they purged numerous contracts and ultimately recouped the most cap space of any team last year.

So flush with cash, the Dolphins threw around house money on big-name FAs like Byron Jones, Shaq Lawson, and Kyle Van Noy.

In the end, the Dolphins signed a whooping ten contracts that were eligible for potential compensatory picks, and six of those contracts are worth more than Sean Davis' original deal with the Washington Football Team.

These factors could explain the cutoff being in the sixth round and why the Steelers would be projected a pick for Sean Davis and not Tyler Matakevich, despite just a $425,000 difference in their yearly averages.

The glut of heavyweight contracts pushed the line of demarcation just between Davis and Matakevich.

So to wrap things up and put a nice little bow on it all, here's the moral of the story:

The Steelers have at least one surefire compensatory pick because of Hargrave and a tentative one for Sean Davis.

Don't count chickens on the Davis sixth-rounder, though.

There could be a shakeup in the bottom rungs once the league's official compensatory designations come out.

But even if it ends up just being the fourth-rounder, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

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