Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Steelers Sign TE Leonard Pope

New Steelers TE Leonard Pope
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The Steelers have signed former Kansas City Chief and Arizona Cardinal tight end Leonard Pope to a one-year contract.

Pope is the first major free agent signing the Steelers have made this offseason and has followed his former head coach at Kansas City Todd Haley here. Both will look to make an immediate impact on the Steelers offense.

Pope is more suited to be a receiver in the passing game than a blocker in the run game. He will help Pittsburgh become a dangerous two tight end set team when he is teamed with Heath Miller. Adding Pope will also give Weslye Saunders another year to develop.

At 6'8", 264 lbs., Pope will be a big target for Ben Roethlisberger, especially in red zone scenarios. Adding him to the roster almost guarantees no return for H-back David Johnson who was a key part of the Steelers run game for the past few seasons.

Pope has made 49 starts over his six-year NFL career. He has 102 receptions for 973 yards and nine touchdowns.

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