With the start of
One of those salary cap casualties could be All-Pro fullback
"Everyone wants to see the ball in the air, and the fullbacks don't get that many reps right now," Ravens running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, who played running back in the NFL for nine seasons, said back during training camp. "It has changed. When I was in the league, it was always about run, run, run."
I wrote back in September about how Leach might be the last of a dying breed. Some of the former fullbacks I spoke with feel that Leach is one of the best blocking fullbacks in NFL history, but even Leach acknowledged when I interviewed him about it in August that it didn't make sense for him to be out on the field for every play.
Leach ended up playing just 456 of the team’s offensive snaps -- 42 percent -- which were fewer than backup tight end
The Ravens ran the ball more frequently when
If that's the case, it's hard to see Leach's role increasing in 2013, when he is scheduled to make a base salary of $3 million and carry a cap hit of $4.3 million. That is a lot of money for a fullback who played 42 percent of the snaps, even if that fullback scares the bejesus out of you when you interview him at his locker stall.
This is the hard, cold reality of the NFL, though. In order to have a chance at winning another Lombardi Trophy, the Ravens might say goodbye to some players -- and more importantly, men -- whom they are quite fond of because their on-field production does not match their cap hit. That’s why there is speculation that Leach or wide receiver
Saying goodbye to Leach wouldn't be a popular move in the locker room -- I'm sure Rice wouldn't be happy to see his lead blocker and good friend go -- but players understand the business.
Even though fullbacks have become dispensable, Leach could find work elsewhere if he wants it. That's because, according to former NFL fullback Heath Evans, nobody does it better than Vonta.