Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Steelers awarded compensatory 5th-round pick

Yesterday, the NFL awarded the Steelers a compensatory 5th-round pick (No. 169 overall). It's shocking that the Steelers didn't receive more substantial compensation, considering that the team lost OG Alan Faneca (who received a blockbuster long-term contract from the New York Jets and made the Pro Bowl this past season), as well as LB Clark Haggans, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Meanwhile, the only free-agent addition was RB Mewelde Moore, who signed a modest three-year contract to become the team's third-down back. (Center (Justin Hartwig was added in free-agency, but only after being cut by his former team), so presumably he shouldn't figure in to the equation.

It has been reported that the Steelers were privately expecting to receive a third-round compensatory pick this year, which could have allowed for a significant addition to the team. The last time the Steelers were awarded a compensatory pick in the third round they selected RB Amos Zereoue. And in 1998 a compensatory third rounder yielded WR Hines Ward. In 1997? LB Mike Vrabel, who experienced modest success in Pittsburgh, but flourished in New England after leaving via free agency.

Don't expect to Steelers to unearth a gem with a compensatory fifth-rounder, however. In 2006 such a pick yielded TE Charles Davis, in 2000 QB Tee Martin, and in 1999 WR Malcolm Johnson.



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