Steelers sign Leonard Pope

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Leonard Pope, a tight end who started 10 games for Kansas City last season, has signed with Pittsburgh.

The Steelers announced that Pope signed a one-year contract today.

Pope is coming off a 2011 season in which he caught a career-high 24 passes for 247 yards. Pope is a longtime favorite of new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, and he’ll head into training camp with the advantage of already knowing Haley’s offense. Pope has played for Haley in all of his NFL seasons except his rookie year: Haley was offensive coordinator of the Cardinals in 2007 and 2008, when Pope was their top tight end, and then Pope followed Haley to the Chiefs in 2009 when Haley became the head coach in Kansas City.

The 6-foot-8, 264-pound Pope was a third-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2006 NFL draft.

28 responses to “Steelers sign Leonard Pope

  1. Cue the “Now perhaps someone will make an offer for Wallace as the Steelers are even more precariously close to their cap ceiling” comments.

  2. Well, this should quite the Coby Fleener @ #24 talk.

    Yeah, he’d be an impact player in year one, but there are greater needs.

  3. We finally have a blocking TE. I like the signing. Now bring in Larry Grant ILB San Fran for a visit.

  4. Ok, we can remove all TE picks from our draft projections, LOL

    Miller, Saunders, Johnson, and now Pope. Wondering who is going to get the short end of the stick?

  5. @steeelfann

    Don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely that the Pope signing has any effect on the Steelers cap number. My guess is he signed for the veteran minimum, and won’t count as one of the 53 salaries that count against the cap.

  6. If anyone thinks Pope is a blocking TE they are officially high.

    He’ll catch the occasional pass, drop just as many, and look lost most of the time.

  7. Saunders is facing a 4-game suspension and Johnson is really an H-back. Simple numbers said they needed to make a move on a tight end.

  8. That’s why David Johnson is the #3 TE not 2. He is only there b/c Saunders is suspended for first four weeks. That’s why it’s only a 1 year contract

  9. Great person. Saved that little boy from drowning last summer in Georgia. But as a player, he’s most famous for catching a 4-yd pass on 3rd and 14 and then getting up and signaling FIRST DOWN!!!….oh yea, not once but twice he did this in 2010….

  10. Anyone who is excited by this hasn’t sat in Arrowhead for the past few years watching him be a 6’8″ non factor. Nice guy, seems like a good team mate but couldn’t catch a cold.

  11. This guy couldn’t catch a pass even if he had super glue on each finger. He will not be missed.

  12. Great move by the steelers once again. Sign an okay vet to make sure its not a position of need heading into the draft. Now they can draft one if value is there, but they dont have to.

  13. @sdiegosteel @cnmiddel Good points, I forgot about the Saunders suspension. Would hate to use a draft pick on a temporary body, and it definitely makes more sense to bring in a vet for the minimum – especially one that knows the OC.

  14. That’s great news for Steelers fans because it means Haley will actually use the TE as a weapon especially in the red zone. With Miller and Pope whom Haley is backing can only mean the offense will have a TE tandem second to Gronk-Hernandez. Could be a scary offense especially if the O-line can perform at a higher level.

  15. sdiegosteel says: Apr 10, 2012 4:53 PM

    Saunders is facing a 4-game suspension and Johnson is really an H-back. Simple numbers said they needed to make a move on a tight end.

    cnmiddel says: Apr 10, 2012 4:55 PM

    That’s why David Johnson is the #3 TE not 2. He is only there b/c Saunders is suspended for first four weeks. That’s why it’s only a 1 year contract

    ————————————————————
    You both took the words right out of my mouth.

  16. The Steelers finally dip their toe into Free Agency and pull out…Leonard Pope?

    This has nothing to do with the Steelers interest in Coby Fleener at #24. The 2 are polar opposites as TE’s.

    I’d love Fleener at #24, because he would make the Steelers better in 2012 than any other pick would…but I believe the Steelers will go with a wide body.

  17. 561bengal says:

    Who?

    —————————–

    Surprise, a Bengal fan hasn’t heard of a guy that’s never been arrested.

  18. Finally a nice TE tandem to catch some passes. Pope’s only weakness is he is not known as much of a blocking tight end. He does know the offense however, and he is a threat in the red zone.

  19. Uh -oh , Haley’s gonna bring in all the guy’s he couldn’t win with . Sounds like trouble for the black -n- gold .

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