The Pittsburgh Steelers announced today that they have signed free agent tight end Leonard Pope to a one-year contract following his visit to the Southside today. Pope has a long history with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley after playing for him with the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs. Pope is the first free agent player signed by the Steelers this offseason. My speculation is that the contract is a one-year deal for $700,000 that includes a $65,000 signing bonus. That would make it a veteran qualifying contract and mean that the salary cap hit would be just $605,000.
Pope was drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round of the 2006 NFL draft out of Georgia. He was waived by the Cardinals prior to the start of the 2009 season and he signed with Chiefs late that September. Pope has registered 102 catches during his six seasons in the NFL for 973 yards to go along with 9 touchdowns. He is currently 28 years of age and measures in at 6 foot, 8 inches. Pope is regarded as a pass catching tight end and is not known for his blocking ability.
Pope was flagged 10 times in 2011 with 4 being for holding, 3 for false starts and he finished tied team lead in penalties. 6 of those 10 penalties stalled drives.