Sources are reporting the Steelers hosted veteran TE Leonard Pope, an unrestricted free agent, for a visit today.
Pope, a third round pick out of Georgia in 2006 by Arizona, has been with Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley since 2007, with the Cardinals through 2008, and with Kansas City since 2009.
Pope is a huge blocking tight end, bringing into question the future of David Johnson and Weslye Saunders, should Pope be signed. Johnson is a restricted free agent, but has not yet signed his tender offer from the team. Saunders is suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season for a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The Chiefs, when healthy, were a successful and dynamic running team, with Pope being a part of it. TE Heath Miller is unquestionably the team's pass-receiving option at the position, and Pope's 101 career catches suggest that wouldn't change. Their second tight end, used frequently in former Steelers' offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' offense, has been a mid-to-low draft pick (Matt Spaeth and Johnson are the most recent examples).
At the right price, bringing Pope in to provide some insurance for Saunders, who would be suspended for a year with another failed drug test (although speculation has indicated Saunders was taking a medication he did not previously report to the league), and some competition for Johnson, who isn't likely to return after the 2012 season.