Steelers won't lose draft pick

Updated: March 20, 2014, 6:02 PM ET
By Scott Brown | ESPN.com

The Pittsburgh Steelers won't lose a draft pick for the infamous sideline interference that resulted in a $100,000 fine for coach Mike Tomlin.

President Art Rooney II has been informed that Tomlin's fine will be the extent of the NFL's punishment for the seventh-year coach stepping onto the field during a kickoff return at Baltimore last November.

Tomlin's gaffe occurred in the third quarter after a Steelers touchdown had trimmed the Ravens' lead to 13-7. Jacoby Jones broke into the open field during the ensuing kick return and Tomlin's foot caused a slight change of direction by the Ravens' return man.

The Steelers tackled Jones after a 73-yard return and the Ravens had to settle for a field goal in an eventual 22-20 win.

[+] EnlargeMike Tomlin
AP Photo/Gail BurtonSteelers coach Mike Tomlin has said he didn't realize how close he was to the field during Jacoby Jones' kickoff return last season.

The controversial play generated national headlines and raised questions about whether Tomlin had intentionally interfered with Jones.

Tomlin later said he lost track of where he was on the sideline and that he never meant to step onto the field. He said he also initially underestimated the controversy that his footwork caused.

The NFL, in addition to fining Tomlin, had left open the possibility of docking the Steelers a pick in this year's draft.

The Steelers have six picks in the draft, and they are expected to add a couple of compensatory selections next week.

Compensatory picks will be announced at the NFL owners' meetings in Orlando, Fla., and the Steelers should get multiple picks for the free-agent losses of wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Keenan Lewis and running back Rashard Mendenhall last year.

The Steelers could get as high as a third-round pick, which would come at the end of the round, for losing Wallace. They don't have a third-round pick this year as they traded it during the 2013 draft to the Browns for a fourth-round selection. The Steelers used the pick on safety Shamarko Thomas.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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