Steelers will lose draft pick for Mike Tomlin's interference, per report

Ezra Shaw

The severity of the Steelers' further punishment is dependent on how the Ravens' season ends.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will indeed have to forfeit a draft pick in 2014 as punishment for coach Mike Tomlin's sideline interference, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the league for interfering with Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens during a crucial kickoff return last week, forcing the returner to turn back into the field and possibly causing him to get caught from behind on the play. The league initially announced that the only punishment would be the fine, with further punishment possible, and there have been no confirmed reports from the NFL regarding any loss of future draft picks.

There have been conflicting reports regarding the nature of further punishment from the NFL, stemming from the fact that the league is still unclear on just what the scope of that punishment will be. As La Canfora notes in his report, the severity of any further punishment will be tied to the success of the Ravens this season and just what role Tomlin's sideline gaffe will have in that outcome.

When Jones was forced to cut inside by Tomlin and therefore unable to score, the Ravens were potentially cheated out of four points on the scoreboard. If the playoff race goes down to tiebreakers and in the unlikely event goes to the eighth tiebreaker, which is conference points scored, then the Steelers would be facing more severe punishment if the Ravens then miss the playoffs because of those lost points.

As it stands, current reports state that the Steelers will be losing a draft pick no matter what. Just how high that lost pick becomes depends on the outcome of the Ravens' season and no final decision will be made until the spring.

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