Steelers won't lose pick over Tomlin's sideline steps



Coach Mike Tomlin's sideline interference dance in Baltimore, which has been the subject of many Photoshopped images on the Internet, will not cost the Steelers a draft choice.

Team president Art Rooney II said he has been informed by the NFL that the Steelers will not be docked a choice in the May draft because of the incident involving Tomlin in a Thanksgiving night game against the Ravens.

"I'm glad that's behind us," Rooney said.

The NFL threatened to dock the Steelers a draft choice in addition to fining Tomlin $100,000 when he stepped on the field of play on a kick return by the Ravens' Jacoby Jones.

But Rooney said the league will have "no further discipline" against Tomlin or the Steelers.

The Steelers also will learn next week at the league's annual owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., how many compensatory picks they will receive in the May draft.

They are expecting to receive at least two, and possibly three, in the third and fourth rounds for losing Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis and Rashard Mendenhall in free agency after the 2012 season.

The league does not award compensatory picks higher than the third round. And teams are not allowed to trade compensatory picks.

Meantime, Rooney said he is "satisfied with the progress" the Steelers have made in free agency, referring to the signings of cornerback Mike Mitchell and defensive tackle Cam Thomas. But the Steelers also have lost a number of players in free agency, the latest being slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who signed Thursday with the Carolina Panthers.

"We enjoyed having Jerricho here and certainly appreciate the contributions he made," Rooney said, adding that he doesn't prefer to comment on players who have departed.

Rooney, though, left open the possibility that former Jacksonville Jaguars running back MauriceJones-Drew, who left Steelers offices Thursday without a contract, could be signed.

"We're having conversations with a number of players and staying in touch," Rooney said.

Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com and Twitter @gerrydulac.


First Published March 20, 2014 3:15 PM

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