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Steelers Again On Pace To Not Receive Future Compensatory Draft Picks


Do you remember the last time that the Pittsburgh Steelers were issued any compensatory draft picks? Well, if you don’t, that is certainly understandable. In fact, the last time was in March of 2022, when they received one fourth-round compensatory draft pick based on what transpired during the 2021 offseason. As things stand right now, with April of 2024 underway, you can probably start preparing yourself for the Steelers not to receive any compensatory draft picks for 2025 next March.

So far this offseason, the Steelers’ compensatory free agent balance sheet doesn’t look favorable at all for the black and gold. In fact, it would probably take a huge miracle at this point for the balance to tip in favor of the Steelers, when it comes to them being issued even as much as one seventh-round compensatory selection.

Below is the current gained/lost compensatory free agent balance sheet by Nick Korte from Over The Cap. After all projected cancellations are accounted for, the Steelers still have two players in the “gain” category in the form of ILB Patrick Queen and S DeShon Elliott. New KR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson will likely be officially termed a CFA gain for the Steelers as well, and we are still awaiting the details of the two-year, $6 million contract he reportedly just signed with the team.

While the Steelers have lost one qualifying unrestricted free agent so far this offseason, DL Armon Watts, to the New England Patriots, his loss was offset by the Steelers signing unrestricted free agent P Cameron Johnston away from the Houston Texans.

The Steelers also lost unrestricted free agent QB Mason Rudolph to the Tennessee Titans a few weeks ago, but the value of his contract isn’t deemed great enough to qualify as a CFA loss. It’s also worth noting that the recent signing of unrestricted free agent ILB Mykal Walker with the Washington Commanders isn’t likely to qualify as a CFA loss for the Steelers either.

Regarding not qualifying on the Steelers’ gained side of the ledger, expect WR Van Jefferson, WR Quez Watkins, and QB Kyle Allen to be on that list as soon as Over the Cap accounts for the details of their recently signed one-year contracts.

While the Steelers still have several unrestricted free agents that remain unsigned at the time of this post, it’s hard to imagine any of them signing qualifying CFA contracts before the period ending the Monday after the 2024 NFL Draft takes place. That list of Steelers unsigned unrestricted free agents now only includes CB Levi Wallace, CB Chandon Sullivan, OLB Markus Golden, ILB Kwon Alexander, ILB Blake Martinez, S Elijah Riley, and WR Miles Boykin. Additionally, untendered players DE Renell Wren, ILB Chapelle Russell, and RB Godwin Igwebuike all remain unsigned and with good reason.

While some of those unsigned free agents listed above might ultimately find homes with new teams, several will likely not sign contracts until after the 2024 NFL Draft. If any of them sign ahead of the draft, it’s hard to imagine any of those players getting much more than minimum salary deals.

While the Steelers’ signings of Elliott and Patterson to two-year, $6 million contracts each wouldn’t be difficult to offset in the grand scheme of things, even having one more lost unrestricted free agent player from the list above be able to accomplish that would be a major accomplishment. On top of that, the addition of Queen via a three-year, $41 million contract at the start of free agency isn’t likely to be canceled out.

Once again, the Compensatory Free Agent signing period runs through the first Monday following the 2024 NFL Draft, so we’ll be monitoring the additional comings and goings up until then. In the meantime, however, you can probably go ahead and prepare yourself for the Steelers to fail once again to receive any compensatory draft picks next offseason. This now seems to be a disappointing trend at this point.

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