Vonta Leach’s time as a Baltimore Ravens fullback has come to an end as reports broke yesterday that he and the Ravens have been unable to agree to a restructured contract. Leach will either be traded or released as early as today.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise for a couple of reasons. First, Leach had been at the Ravens voluntary OTA’s the past few weeks and everything seemed as though things were fine in the negotiations to restructure his deal.
Secondly, the timing of this is probably the most surprising part as many felt this offseason that Leach would be a salary cap casualty, but once the team traded Anquan Boldin earlier this offseason, it was felt that Leach was safe.
By waiting this long to figure out Leach’s contract, the Ravens have now ignited quite a fire with Ravens fans as several are already begging the question, “Then why did we trade Boldin?” There is legitimacy in that question as the amount the team is going to save on the salary cap with the release or trade of Leach could have been used to keep Boldin in a Ravens uniform.
On the flip side of that, Baltimore is in a much better situation at the fullback position than they were in March with the selection of Kyle Juszczyk in this year’s NFL Draft. By drafting Juszczyk, it gives them a more diverse type of fullback than Leach, and offered them the ability to make this move without losing out on the fullback position.
Cutting ties with Leach saves the Ravens $3 million against the salary cap this season, while having to carry $1.33 million in dead money. If Leach is released, the All Pro will be coveted by several NFL teams and will not be unemployed long. The perfect scenario for Baltimore would be to work out a trade and at least get something in return Leach.
Although fans and some "experts" out there will harp that Baltimore should have kept Boldin if this was going to happen, everyone should realize that this now gives Baltimore just over $6 million in salary cap space that could be used to bring in a veteran wide receiver for this offense.
Leach was not a big running threat with the Ravens, although he did rush for a touchdown in 2012, but his ability to open running lanes for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce is what Baltimore will sorely miss.
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