The Ravens released fullback Vonta Leach Tuesday afternoon.
There were reports that the Ravens were trying to trade the three-time Pro Bowl fullback, but they either didn’t find a satisfactory deal or determined it would be better to cut ties.
“We’ve had lots of discussion in the past week with Vonta and his agent and both parties agreed that it was best to terminate Vonta’s contract,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome said.
“He played a significant role in helping us get to the AFC championship game in 2011 and win the Super Bowl last season. He added to our toughness and will to win, plus he provided leadership. He’s a good football player.”
Leach is the ninth Ravens starter gone from last year's Super Bowl XLVII roster. But Newsome indicated that Leach could end up back in Baltimore.
“There could be an opportunity for him to return to the Ravens once he explores the free agent market, and we could re-visit this before or during training camp,” Newsome said.
Known as perhaps the best blocking fullback in the NFL, Leach had two Pro Bowl seasons in Baltimore. But he was due a reported $4.33 million in 2013. The Ravens, who are tight against the cap, perhaps freed up additional room in case they want to make a move.
Leach saw a diminishing role in Baltimore. He received 579 offensive snaps last year compared to 665 the year prior, according to Pro Football Focus.
“Thank @Ravens organization for a great two years,” Leach tweeted Monday evening. “I came here and did what we set out to do and that's win the Super Bowl. My time here is up but what we accomplished, we will be forever linked. Thank the fans for accepting me and my family to Bmore. #newchapter#samegoal.”
The Ravens have more versatile rookie fullback Kyle Kuszczyk, a fourth-round pick, on the roster. Juszczyk led Harvard with 52 receptions for 706 yards last season, and could play a variety of roles.
In a corresponding roster move to the Leach release, Baltimore re-signed veteran tight end
Bajema played in eight games and started one for the Ravens last year, serving as the team’s No. 3 tight end. He didn’t make any receptions, but was used for his blocking. Bajema occasionally lined up as a fullback.