No one is surprised about the reports concerning Vonta Leach and Jameel McClain being released.
It was something deemed a near formality, though it does appear the Ravens have an interest in bringing McClain back at a reduced rate. As for Leach, his time in Baltimore is over. With another fullback on the roster, and the fact he barely played much this past season, it was only a matter of time before he was forced to find another team.
Leach took the high rode on twitter, thanking Baltimore for embracing him on its football team.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Thanks for the memories <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Ravenation&src=hash">#Ravenation</a> <a href="http://t.co/csrsQJ5Ptv">http://t.co/csrsQJ5Ptv</a> <a href="http://t.co/GaoYiZLZg0">http://t.co/GaoYiZLZg0</a></p>— VontaLeach44 (@vleach44) <a href="https://twitter.com/vleach44/statuses/439130399177195520">February 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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In order to bring back soon-to-be free agents Dennis Pitta and Eugene Monroe, and to potentially bring in a free agent at a position of need, the Ravens were going to have to find a way to free up some money.
Assuming the reports of a $132 million salary cap in 2014 are true, the Ravens were an estimated $22 million under before these moves. Cutting McClain saves the organization $3.2 million in 2014 and releasing Leach saves $1.75 million. In total, this move creates $4.95 million in savings.
This means the Ravens would be near an estimated $27 million under the salary cap after the moves. But of course, that's not official since the salary cap number has not been finalized yet.
The Ravens will likely turn their attention to Pitta, Monroe and Daryl Smith at this point. James Ihedigbo, Arthur Jones and Jacoby Jones are also players of note that could test free agency.
Thursday's moves are just the beginning of what could be yet another exciting free agency period in the NFL.