Could Vonta Leach return to Baltimore?

Leach Bailey

Even though it was a widely anticipated move, Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach’s release from the Ravens upset much of the fan base.

Leach, highly regarded as the best fullback in the game, is part of a dying breed. That said, it’s not typical to see the best player at their position last long during free agency. However, Leach was released over two weeks ago, and still has yet to sign with another team.

The day after his release, I along with other media members were discussing Leach and the general consensus was that we believed that he would likely have a new team by that weekend. Surprisingly, that hasn’t been the case.

Multiple reports around the inter-webs have stated that as many as eight teams have expressed interest in Leach, who visited the Miami Dolphins last week and has expressed interest in returning to his former team, the Houston Texans. The longer that Leach is humbled by the free agent market, the more likely it is that he could return to one of his former teams, the Baltimore Ravens.

Leach’s release was a power play by the Ravens, who were looking to free up cap space heading into the 2013 season.

The Ravens front office felt that Leach’s price tag (due to make $3 million in base salary in 2013) was too rich for what he contributed on the field (only being used in 42 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 2012). According to the Baltimore Sun, Leach was asked to take a $1 million pay cut and recoup his money in incentives, which Leach’s representation felt were too difficult to reach.

The Ravens currently have $6,049,823 of cap space according to our “Capologist” Brian McFarland. This figure takes Leach’s release into consideration and the signing of TE Billy Bajema.

Many teams were likely hoping to get Leach on the cheap, signing him to a one-year veteran minimum deal, worth $940,000 given that Leach will be entering his 10th year of service in the league.

The Ravens drafted Harvard TE/FB Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth-round as their contingency plan if Leach was unwilling to reduce his salary. Even though the team prepared themselves to move on, it’s not that they wouldn’t like Leach back in Baltimore at a reduced price. Many teams will bid for Leach’s services, but the Ravens would likely offer the most money on the open market, though still not exceeding their original offer of a $2 million base salary.

It would be the best deal for Leach and it would be a good deal for the Ravens, considering their lack of veteran leadership in the locker room. After Leach’s release, his former teammates and coaches raved about how much they loved him. As a player with nine seasons under his belt who is still so highly regarded in the league, it’s worthwhile for the Ravens to work something out with Leach.

Hopefully they’re already communicating after what has to have been a humbling experience for Leach. At least we know the fan base will welcome him back with open arms. Though, in a reversal of roles, they’ll have to get through Ray Rice first.

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About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

10 Raves on “Could Vonta Leach return to Baltimore?

  1. True on said:

    I’d love to see Leach back. We have all the offensive weapons we need but it wouldn’t hurt to use the money we have to sign a proven fullback, at the right price, and to extend a few other contracts with Oher, Pitta, Dickson, and Arthur Jones.

    Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones going out and improving their route running and also still being those deep threats. Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Kyle Juszszyk, Vonta Leach all running the ball from time to time(Obviously mostly Rice and Pierce). While Kyle and Ray will be their own little wild cat formations. Throw in a hungry WR in Thompson or Doss and we’ll be alright. Not to mention Pitta and Dickson trying to play for more money. The only problem is that Caldwell and Flacco need to get together and talk because throwing to Pitta on every play is a little too predictable. We need to spread the ball out and balance with the run and the pass. No need to pass every play. It’s nice to think that we don’t even need another wide receiver because of the talent and the dedication the comes with a contract year for two talented tight ends. Also, we have Rice and “Juice.” Torrey and Jones. We’ll be fine as long as we are very creative with what we have. Especially our defense. It’ll pump crowds up and it will also shut them up when our offense keeps getting put back on the field every five seconds. Caldwell gets it. I think as long as Caldwell and Joe and the rest of the offense get together we can have both and elite defense and offense. Especially with our O-Line! Heck yeah! McKinnie, Osemele, Gradkowski, Yanda, Oher…that’s just great. Add another lineman for Vonta Leach IF he comes back.

    • Rumor Ray on said:

      John, What Team do you support? Come on confess your true intent. If you are a fan of another team or not a fan of the NFL why would you feel the need to post stupid comments on a Ravens Fan Site? Sad really. I honestly Pray For You….
      I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
      I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
      And knocks you in the head like I’d like to
      I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
      I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
      I pray all your dreams never come true
      Just know wherever you are, TROLL, I pray for you

  2. Joe Is The Man on said:

    Remember that Flacco is good at spreading the ball around to a lot of different receivers. In the Super Bowl, 7 different Ravens caught passes. For the 49′ers, it was only 4 different receivers. So Flacco was never tied in to one receiver (Boldin) like people have been saying.

    Whether Leach comes back or not will not determine how successful the Ravens are in the 2013 season. By not having Boldin, younger receivers have to “step up” and will be given a chance to become stars.
    By not having Leach, younger players will also have to “step up” and be given a chance to become stars.

    Remember how Joe Flacco became a start as a rookie? This was very unusual. It was a risk, and against conventional wisdom. If it had not happened, then Flacco would not have had the chance to become a star.

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