Surprise, surprise, surprise! The 2012 compensatory draft picks were doled out today at the NFL owners meetings and the Pittsburgh Steelers received three 7th round compensatory picks for the loss of tight end Matt Spaeth, defensive tackle Nick Eason and linebacker Keyaron Fox presumably. As I posted early this morning it was looking like the Steelers would only receive one 7th round pick for the loss of Spaeth, who signed a three-year, $5.975 million contract with the Chicago Bears and played nearly 370 snaps. Eason signed a two-year, $1.95 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals and played nearly 260 snaps, while Fox signed a one-year, $810,000 contract with the Washington Redskins and played just over 50 snaps on defense.
The compensatory formula has never been cracked officially as it takes into account the signing and loss of unrestricted free agents from the previous offseason. The formula also takes into account player\’s salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. It would be great to know the exact formula, but all that really matters today is that the Steelers received three of them and they will be the 33rd, 39th and 41st picks in the 7th round which translates to the 240th, 246th, 248th picks overall.
Compensatory picks can\’t be traded, but the Steelers certainly could trade their original 7th round pick should they decide to. The Steelers were not awarded any compensatory draft picks last offseason, but they did receive three compensatory picks prior to the 2010 draft for the loss of quarterback Byron Leftwich, wide receiver Nate Washington and cornerback Bryant McFadden as unrestricted free agents following the 2008 season. Those picks awarded were two fifth round picks and one seventh round pick.