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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.

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28 Responses to “Steelers sign Leonard Pope”
  1. steeelfann says: Apr 10, 2012 4:23 PM

    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. donterrelli says: Apr 10, 2012 4:24 PM

    Good signing. Their 2nd TE David Johnson is always dropping passes.

  3. Deb says: Apr 10, 2012 4:24 PM

    Well, that’s nice. Does Haley have any favorite tackles who’d like to come aboard?

  4. pittsburghsteelerz says: Apr 10, 2012 4:25 PM

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

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

  5. jollyrob68 says: Apr 10, 2012 4:25 PM

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

  6. 561bengal says: Apr 10, 2012 4:30 PM

    Who?

  7. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 10, 2012 4:31 PM

    The Pope of Redneck Village.

  8. mitchitized says: Apr 10, 2012 4:34 PM

    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?

  9. ziggy26 says: Apr 10, 2012 4:46 PM

    @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.

  10. steeltownpride says: Apr 10, 2012 4:48 PM

    Championship

  11. slickster35 says: Apr 10, 2012 4:49 PM

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. jodave5 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:21 PM

    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….

  15. jredshoes says: Apr 10, 2012 5:22 PM

    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.

  16. chuckxx says: Apr 10, 2012 5:24 PM

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

  17. preston0036 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:24 PM

    solid move!!!!! good Blocking Tight End good Red Zone Target 6’8!!! knows the System a plus

  18. stairwayto7 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:26 PM

    No hope Pope will be cut by Halloween! He can’t catch a cold!

  19. Stiller43 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:28 PM

    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.

  20. mitchitized says: Apr 10, 2012 5:29 PM

    @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.

  21. yojoemama says: Apr 10, 2012 5:36 PM

    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.

  22. cup1981 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:43 PM

    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.

  23. originalsteelcurtain says: Apr 10, 2012 5:48 PM

    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.

  24. vincentbojackson says: Apr 10, 2012 6:55 PM

    561bengal says:

    Who?

    —————————–

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

  25. steel2372 says: Apr 10, 2012 7:13 PM

    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.

  26. randallflagg52 says: Apr 10, 2012 8:43 PM

    Pope and Miller second to Gronk and Hernandez? You stiller fans are delusional, that doesn’t even give you the best tight end combo in the division.

  27. joewilliesshnoz says: Apr 10, 2012 10:10 PM

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

  28. sullijo1 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:11 PM

    If Haley also brings Matt Cassell to Pittsburgh ….you should burn your terrible towells.

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