The Steelers released tight end Weslye Saunders today after he served his four-game NFL suspension for taking a banned substance -- a move that points up the development of rookie David Paulson and the team's interest in him.
The Steelers had until 4 p.m. today to decide if they wanted to keep Saunders or release Paulson or veteran backup Leonard Pope.
Pope, who was signed in free agency from the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played for offensive coordinator Todd Haley, has not played the past two games.
But, because he is a vested veteran, Pope would have to be paid the minimum of $840,000 even if he were released.
Paulson, a sixth round pick, has played extensively the past two games and was lauded by Coach Mike Tomlin last week as a player "who the game is not too big for."