Rules Capped Steelers’ Compensatory Pick At A Fifth-Rounder
Posted by Mike Florio on March 31, 2009, 8:01 p.m. EDT
And there’s further proof that free agency is a game intended for men in their 20s.
Several readers have expressed consternation regarding the fact that the Steelers received only a fifth-round pick as compensation for the departure in 2008 of Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca.
We’ve seen in the comments assertions that the rules cap the compensatory pick at that level when the departing free agent older than 30.
Per John Clayton of ESPN.com, that’s precisely the case.
Responding to a reader in a Q&A column, Clayton wrote the following: “[T]he Steelers asked the same question at the owners’ meeting. What they found out is that a departing free agent older than 30 can’t net anything better than a fifth-round choice. They were banking on a third, too. They received the max value. They simply didn’t know the rule that has been there for a few years in the compensatory formula.”
Though it’s unknown whether the Steelers would have opted to use the franchise tag on Faneca if they’d known that they’d only get a fifth-round selection this year for letting him walk, it seems unfair that the league would use age-based restrictions on such matters.
If as in Faneca’s case the player is regarded by another team as sufficiently valuable to result in a five-year, $40 million deal, the fact that the player is on the wrong side of 30 shouldn’t matter.
Meanwhile, we’ll wait for the folks who are convinced that the league office is in the tank for the Rooneys to explain that the Steelers got the shaft this time in order to throw the dogs off the scent.