A report from the Newark Star Ledger claimed that former Ravens fullback Vonta Leach would make a decision on which team he would play for by Friday. The report also said that he was leaning towards the Ravens.
Following Friday’s training camp practice, I asked head coach John Harbaugh if he had heard anything from his former fullback.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Harbaugh said, refuting the report. “We have no update, nothing new on that.”
Unless a mystery team has emerged, Leach doesn’t appear to have any options outside of the Ravens. The Dolphins had made it clear they weren’t signing a fullback before the start of training camp, and as it stands now, no offer has been made public. The Giants were in the running for Leach, but addressed their need for a fullback by signing Ryan D’Imeperio to their 90-man roster on Friday morning.
“As far as I know, nothing has changed,” Harbaugh said. “We’re patient about it right now and we haven’t been forcing the issue. We’re looking at some guys and seeing where we’re at with our roster right now. I believe Ozzie [Newsome] and Vonta are still talking.”
The Ravens appear to be the best-case scenario for Leach, even though they had reportedly asked him to take a $1 million pay cut prior to his release. If re-signed, Leach will account for $2 million of the Ravens remaining $5.299 million available salary cap space.
Personally, I believe Leach is a luxury at this point. He’s a phenomenal player and an even better person in the locker room. However, in a case where the Ravens still need to address their need for another wide receiver in Anquan Boldin’s absence, the $2 million spent on Leach could be better used to give the Ravens’ $120 million QB another toy or two.
Making the return of Leach even more of a luxury is the presence of fourth-round pick Kyle Juszczyk from Harvard. In offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s system, a fullback is not a top priority. Juszczyk has looked decent in camp so far and is certainly big enough to pick up an opposing pass rush.