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NFL Free Agents Can Sign without Impacting Compensatory Picks after 4 p.m. Today



Steelers Alejandro Villanueva

Every year, the free agents each NF: team signs and loses in free agency go into a formula that grants up to 32 compensatory draft picks in the following year’s selection.

Last weekend, the Steelers had an extra fourth-round pick thanks to the loss of defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Steelers traded their 2022 fourth-round pick for a fifth-rounder this year because they expect to get another compensatory pick in that range from this year’s free agent losses. According to, the Steelers are currently in line to get an extra third- and fifth-round pick in 2022.

But there is a limit to which players count to that formula. Players released by their former team don’t count as players lost or gained, and neither do players that remain free agents following the NFL Draft.

That means that at 4 p.m. on Monday, the window for free agent singings to impact future compensation will close, and there will likely be a rush of signings that teams have been waiting to finalize.

One of this may be former Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who met with the Baltimore Ravens, but reportedly won’t sign with the team until after the deadline to prevent the Steelers from benefiting from the Ravens snagging the team’s longtime starting left tackle.

The Steelers may be looking to return the favor elsewhere, as the team didn’t address its needs at cornerback and backup safety until late in the draft and with undrafted free agents.

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