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Mike Tomlin's actions could affect Steelers' 2014 draft

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 Wednesday for his actions on the sideline last Thursday in Baltimore, but the story isn't over yet. We still don't know the full punishment.

The fine was expected, but the most interesting part of Wednesday's announcement concerns the potential loss of draft picks.


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"Because the conduct affected a play on the field, a modification or forfeiture of draft choices will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined," the NFL said in a statement.

The league likely would not have included the draft-pick language in the statement unless some sort of additional penalty was in the offing. It's interesting that the league does not plan to announce the exact draft-pick penalty at this stage. So what will the penalty be?

The Steelers potentially could lose a late-round draft pick or see their picks somehow moved down in the draft. It would be a surprise if a high pick was taken away; the Steelers do not have a third-round pick because it was traded to the Cleveland Browns last April.

Compensatory picks are announced for every team in March and this punishment could be part of that equation. It's also possible the NFL wants more time to observe Tomlin and get more information before making a decision.

This punishment feels like a worst case scenario for Tomlin. He was fined heavily, and the Steelers' organization is not likely to escape without additional penalties.

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