Maybe the Miami Dolphins aren't as much of the front runner for top free agent fullback Vonta Leach as everyone thought they were when this process started. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York talked to Leach's agent, Ralph Vitolo, who said on Thursday that the New York Giants are one of the top three teams that have his clients interest for this season.
"Nobody has been excluded," Vitolo said to the Houston television station. "You have to put Miami, Houston and the Giants in the first three. "Kansas City is also involved and Baltimore is included in this also."
Leach was released from the Baltimore Ravens last week and the Giants immediately reached out to show interest in the 31-year-old fullback, especially since Henry Hynoski had to have knee surgery back on May 24 and could begin the season on the PUP List, which would force him to miss the first six games of the season.
The Giants have had interest in Leach in the past, as they previously signed him to a four-year offer sheet back in 2007, but the Houston Texans matched the offer and he stayed in Houston. In 2011, after the NFL lockout ended, Leach expressed interest in going to the Giants, but the Ravens beat them to the punch and signed Leach to a three-year deal. Baltimore released him after two of those seasons after they couldn't agree to restructure Leach's $3 million deal for 2013.
After it seemed like the Giants "were out of the race" and the Dolphins were deemed the front runners to sign Leach, which many still feel they are since they have $17.6 million in cap space, the Giants were reportedly getting back in and going to increase their offer, which means the Giants are worried about Hynoski's knee. Plus, the Giants would be getting perhaps the best fullback in the sport right now who could help the running game and David Wilson's progress.
Vitolo did say that in order for the Giants to sign Leach, they would have to be creative in the kind of deal they would offer his client, which could mean the Giants would have to offer him a multi-year deal in order to get it under the salary cap, something the Giants only have $3.3 million left to spare. Plus, the Giants still have to sign first-round draft picks Justin Pugh and Ryan Niassib.
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