In a strange sequence of events, the Dolphins are “standing pat” on who they already have on the roster in the backfield. That means All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach will likely enter training camp without a team, according to Miami Herald reporter Armando Salguero.
The Dolphins finally set up a meeting to speak with Leach’s player rep this week. Talks were apparently on hold for multiple weeks because of Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland’s vacation, according to Rotoworld.com.
It remains unclear whether the talks occurred or not, but Leach will not be a Dolphin this season.
The Texans and Giants are now the frontrunners for acquiring the fullback’s services. Leach also did not rule out a return to the Ravens, who cut him last month. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports Leach wants to gauge the interest level in Houston and New York before negotiating with Baltimore.
It seems the fullback would like a multi-year deal, but at this point, just getting in a uniform should be the priority.
Some fans might be scratching their heads on the All-Pro's inability to find a team. And even though Leach is now over 30, he seems to be getting better with age. In each of his last three seasons, Leach has made the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team.
In many ways, Leach's struggles to sign a contract with a team says more about the offensive trends of the league than about the fullback's ability. With an emphasis on speed and spread offenses, the demand for ground-and-pound backs and strict blocking backs is less.
Baltimore originally released Leach to cut his salary from the team’s cap. At 31 years old, he was still one of the best lead blockers in the league, so his release had nothing to do with his performance. For a lower cost, the Ravens would bring Leach back in a heartbeat.
"Of course, Vonta likes the Ravens," his agent, Ralph Vitolo, told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday. "Why wouldn't he? Maybe he ends up back there. Who knows? Until it happens, there's no sense in pure speculation."
Leave the speculation up to us at Football Nation.
One thing that doesn't have to be speculated, full backs are a dying breed, and despite his capabilities on the field and in the locker room, Leach will have to take less money to stay in the NFL.