The Baltimore Ravens last week cut four veterans in an effort to clear some cap room-three of them veterans on the offensive side of the ball in WR Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, and RB Willis McGahee.
This also does’t include the likes of free agents T Jared Gaither, G Chris Chester and FB Le’Ron McClain who are all likely to take their services elsewhere, and in Chester’s case, he already has.
With wide receiver Anquan Boldin the only veteran returning to the lineup and with a coaching staff wanting to commit themselves to getting back to running the football with Ray Rice, the Ravens knew they needed to bolster that part of the offense.
So why not get the guy that blocked for the NFL’s leading rusher in Houston’s Arian Foster in 2010?
And that’s just what the Ravens did Sunday afternoon, as Baltimore signed FB Vonta Leach-widely believed to be the top free agent at the position.
Leach-the AFC’s Pro Bowl FB last year-signed a three year, 11 million dollar contract with the Ravens, which will reportedly make him the highest paid fullback in the league.
And he told Drew Forrester Monday morning that he’s worth every penny of that money.
He’s going to prove it, and he already told Ravens RB Ray Rice so.
“Me and Ray have talked on the phone,” Leach told Forrester. “I told him that I feel like if I block, whoever behind me will be alright.”
And for the most part, Leach is right.
Arian Foster last year for Houston-in only his second year in the league-finished atop the NFL in rushing with 1,616 yards with Leach leading the way.
Leach also helped a former Maryland target in WVU RB Steve Slaton reach the 1,000 yard plateau in 2008-Slaton’s rookie year.
And he finally got the respect he deserved this year by earning a trip to Honolulu.
However, Leach told Forrester that he’s not playing in the NFL to make Pro Bowls.
He’s here to win Super Bowls, and he felt like the Ravens give him a good chance to make it there.
“I spent five great years in Houston,” Leach told Forrester. “I’m ready to move on to a team that’s in the running for a Super Bowl every year.”
It was having his seasons as a Texan end in the last week of December that got him thinking about his free agent destination despite Houston’s desire to overpay to get him back.
“I haven’t been playing in January in awhile, and I’m ready to get back into it,” he said.
And finally, he feels like if he does his job and the Ravens commit to using his and Ray Rice’s skills to their potential, he’ll be able to fulfill his desire very easily.
“I know what’s expected of me,” Leach said. “I’m a blocking fullback. That’s what I do. My main job is to do what I can to help this team win.”
WNST thanks Vonta Leach for joining Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction”! We sure to welcome to Baltimore on Twitter (@Vleach44) and check out the conversation at the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault!