Steelers Release TE Weslye Saunders

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a surprise move today as reports that they have decided to release second-year tight end Weslye Saunders.

Saunders returned to the team on Monday after serving his four gamer suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. It was believed by many that veteran Leonard Pope would be the odd man out as his playing time has decreased the last two weeks.

Saunders was signed as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina last season and he recorded four receptions and one touchdown as a rookie.

The Steelers had to make a roster move by 4:00 p.m. today after being granted a roster exemption due to the short week.

  • RW

    Maybe the steelers are holding on to pope in case they run out of offensive tackles (despite his horrendous blocking skills, I guess he’s a big body?)… otherwise I don’t understand this move. Saunders is young and can catch the ball. He’ll almost certainly get an opportunity with another team. I hope Paulson is the real deal.

  • mghjr88

    This is certainly a surprise. Maybe there were some underlying questions in terms of his character or another in-house issue of some kind. It seemed clear that Saunders was the teams next best option to Heath Miller at tight-end prior to the season, Paulsen and Pope have done nothing to change that perception in my opinion, especially Pope.

    Its almost upsetting as Saunders seemed like a promising talent. Sure, Paulsen is also young and promising, but Pope definitely is not. Why not have the depth of two young promising players at the position?

  • NimbusHex

    This doesn’t make sense.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Perhaps this is the culmination of; 1.) the banned substance debacle 2.) him being a pain the arse around camp during OTA’s and with trainers and such (as reported by Dave and Dave) 3.) needing to make a roster move while the team, clearly, is struggling with several non-TE related issues 4.) Paulson is doing better than coaches had expected.
    Of course….all of this is supposition, but it certainly wasn’t a random decision….

  • Bob Loblaw

    Makes you wonder what type of shape he showed up in.

  • another stupid move by the steelers who are clueless right now.

  • What the hell is Colbert thinking? He needs to take control

  • zyzak

    Look when you takes banned substances, can’t get your routes down you get cut. Pope is no Ditka but he at least know the ropes. Paulsen must be doing really well.

  • this has everything to do with haley. why do you think pitt signed pope to begin with. another bad move, i like what ive seen from paulson but pope is a wasted spot and we give up on a talented young te makes no sense.

  • that is what losing teams do, make personnel mistakes, bad in game decisions, fire good special team coach and give the job to a dum a-s, etc. now we know our problem.

  • LouPGH

    He has some talent, for sure, but you all need to cool your jets. It’s not as if he was the next star TE of the NFL or anything. Anyone who follows the dude on twitter knows his maturity level is not that of a professional. My guess: the banned substance suspension was the tip of the iceberg and Paulson is panning out better than they expected.

  • I agree… caught 1 NFL TD and thinks the world owes him something… if he cared about being a pro he wouldn’t have gotten suspended in his second year… Sundays in Pittsburgh is a MUCH bigger stage than Saturdays in Columbia, SC where he was underwhelming at best… now cut Ryan Mundy and get Ryan Lee in pads ad we might be able to salvage our season

  • Shelob9

    Not hard to imagine Pope being cut as well in order to sign Ryan Lee or a RB depending on how the latest injuries go.

  • wisconsinsteelerfan

    Time to drop Ta’Amu and bring back Saunders. Or you could just drop the deadbeat Leonard Pope for Saunders, but he probably has dirt on Haley or something – so dropping Ta’amu works just as well.