Miami’s talks with FB Vonta Leach are officially over. Yesterday, the 31 year-old veteran signed a two year contract with the Baltimore Ravens seven weeks after being released by the Ravens without a restructured contract. Baltimore, who lost pass-catching tight end Dennis Pitta to a season-ending hip injury, were thrilled to add Leach back to their already weakened offense.
Before signing with his former team, Leach considered signing with the Houston Texans, New York Giants, and our very own Miami Dolphins. For some time, the Dolphins were considered the front-runners for the fullback, yet opted not to pull the trigger and bring him to Miami.
I would have loved to see Leach come to South Beach. For the past few seasons, Leach has been one of the league’s best fullbacks. A large part of Ray Rice’s success in Baltimore came from Leach open running lanes and bulldozing defenders in the open field. Last year, Leach had 21 receptions for 148 yards in 13 games for the Ravens, and carried the ball 24 times for 70 yards.
Leach could have come in and immediately been a leader on what is a fairly young Dolphins’ offense. He would have bolstered what has been a weak run-blocking backfield and could have mentored Miami’s younger fullbacks Jorvorskie Lane and Charles Clay (FB/TE hybrid). One thing you can not teach is leadership and experience, and there is no arguing that Vonta Leach has both of those attributes.
Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland did not see Leach as being a worthy investment, or he would currently be a Miami Dolphin. At the time of his courtship, Miami had the highest cap space (around $17.6 million) out of Leach’s suitors. Money was not the issue, but perhaps Leach’s age and fit into this Dolphin’s offense was the problem. Regardless, Leach is back in purple, and Miami will now focus their attention on other matters, like adding wide receivers to replace recently injured Rishard Matthews and Armon Binns.