Just a day after being released by the Ravens earlier this month, Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach was on a plane to Miami for a visit with the Dolphins.
At the time, it didn’t appear that one of the league’s best lead blockers would be a free agent for long. However, nearly two weeks later, he’s still on the market and Leach acknowledged in a radio interview
today that he’s in no rush to sign and he’s still in regular contact with his former team.
"Me and [Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome], we talk once a week and [we’ll] see how everything goes,” Leach said today on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He knows the process and me and him are going to let the process play out. If I’m back with the Ravens, there’s still no hard feelings. They let me catch the market and see what my market value is.”
Leach, an integral part of the Ravens’ offense the past two seasons, was cut on June 11 after the organization failed in its effort to restructure his contract and then couldn’t find a trade partner for the bruising fullback.
The Ravens would have preferred to keep Leach, but they ultimately felt that his role on the team, which diminished somewhat last season as the Ravens became more of a passing offense, didn’t justify the $4.3
million salary cap hit that he would have cost in 2013.
Leach, 31, had been due a $3 million base salary in the final year of the three-year, $11 million contract that he signed with the Ravens before the 2011 season.
As Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston reported last week, the Ravens are still monitoring Leach’s status and if the three-time Pro Bowler can’t get the money that he wants from another team, it’s not impossible that he returns. Leach didn’t dismiss the possibility on SiriusXM NFL Radio today.
"You never can be surprised by anything that can happen in this league, man,” he said. “I didn’t get released from Baltimore because of my play. It was just because my salary cap number. The thing is, when you talk about salary cap, once the fullback starts making a lot of money, they are the first one that probably is asked to take a pay cut and stuff. But just like I said, I have no hard feelings with Baltimore or with the Ravens’ organization. It’s first class and everything was good.”
Leach has received steady interest from around the NFL with the Dolphins, New York Giants and another one of his former teams, the Houston Texans, believed to be his most aggressive suitors. Leach said today that the Giants called his agent on the first day he was a free agent and “things are picking up a little bit more” with them. He also reiterated that he never discussed a timetable for his decision with Dolphins’ officials.
"They knew it wasn’t a rush to get that done and I knew it wasn’t a rush to get that done,” Leach said. “I’m still going to weigh all my options, see what’s the best deal for me.”
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