As the new league year begins, some lingering business from the previous one has been concluded.
The NFL has informed the Steelers that no draft picks will be taken or modified as a result of last year’s sideline incident involving coach Mike Tomlin.
In the second half of an eventual loss to Baltimore, Tomlin strayed toward the sideline during a kickoff return. He eventually had a foot in the field of play as Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones approached. Tomlin flinched and jumped out of the way, and Jones cut to the inside. Though he was then caught from behind, it wasn’t clear that he would have made it to the end zone even without Tomlin’s interference.
Tomlin was fined $100,000, and the league explained that adjustments could be made to a 2014 draft pick. Further punishment would have been more likely if the four points the Ravens didn’t score on the drive (they settled for a field goal) had been the difference between qualifying for the postseason and staying home. But the Ravens missed the playoffs without that tiebreaker being relevant.
In a footnote that Ravens fans would be tempted to call karma, the Steelers eventually missed the playoffs due to a missed call in the Chiefs-Chargers game that would have given Kansas City another shot at a game-winning field goal. Instead, the Chargers won the game — and bumped Pittsburgh out of the postseason field.