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Don't Count on Vonta Leach Returning to Ravens

The Ravens need more to happen to get the veteran fullback on the roster than the Dolphins failing to formally offer him.

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It will be a bit of a surprise if the Ravens are able to bring Vonta Leach back into the fold.
It will be a bit of a surprise if the Ravens are able to bring Vonta Leach back into the fold.
Rob Carr

It's unlikely Vonta Leach comes back.

He might. There's a chance. But it probably won't happen. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Dolphins haven't actually offered Leach, even though it was assumed Miami held a lead for his services.

Playing in Miami makes sense for Leach. They need a fullback more than the Ravens, Texans and Giants do. They can offer more money for at least one year. But what if Leach wants job security? Are any of the teams outside Baltimore prepared to offer Leach a multi-year contract, considering he's 31 in a league that's witnessing prototypical blocking fullback being phased out?

It's clear Leach can still play the game at a high level. Pro Football Focus ranked Leach as its best fullback of 2012 and it wasn't close. Leach earned a cumulative score of 19.1 points on the website's scale, with Oakland's Marcel Reece and Minnesota's Rhett Ellison tied for a distant second with 14.8.

But outside of being a downhill, lead blocker, Leach doesn't have much else in his skill set. And that is not his fault. He's been the best at what he does for a long time now. The only problem is that skill needs to be paired with others in today's NFL.

Case in point: In 19 games, including the playoffs but not the regular season finale against Cincinnati, the Leach only saw the field on more than 50 percent of the offensive snaps eight times. He was present less than 40 percent of offensive snaps on nine occasions. In Baltimore's regular season meeting against Denver, a 34-17 loss, Leach only came on the field for 11 of the Ravens' 65 plays.

There is one thing working in Baltimore's favor, however. If no team is willing to offer a multi-year deal, then Leach could decide to play with a team that gives him the best chance at winning another Super Bowl. Seeing that he won with the Ravens, and he genuinely likes the organization, he very well could accept Baltimore's offer to return.

At the end of the day, Leach might want to play where he feels needed. Miami has a second-year quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and will need to rely on a running game as he continues to progress. The Dolphins' running backs are unproven and could use a veteran to help pave the way.

All signs still point to Miami landing Leach, despite the recent news that there isn't a formal offer on the table.

Baltimore's still in the running and would welcome him back. This would give rookie Kyle Juszczyk, a fullback with tight end skills, a year to learn Jim Caldwell's offensive system.

But it's not likely at this time. If Leach returns to Baltimore, consider it a pleasant surprise.

Follow me on twitter: @JasonHButt