The Ravens have signed their first free agent that wasn’t one of their own. I’ve been waiting anxiously and impatiently for them to do something besides re-signing Yanda and Carr (even though that’s great news for us). And today, I turn on the TV to see them making the headlines on NFL Network for signing someone instead of releasing someone.
That guy that they signed is fullback Vonta Leach from the Houston Texans. He’s the best FB in the NFL, which may not mean too much except he’s going to block like crazy this season which, in turn, means that Ray Rice is going to explode and find gaps like he never has before. The deal is for 3 years $11 million, which the Texans couldn’t match even though Leach said he planned on finishing his career with Houston. Not like this really matters, but he was picked as the 65th best player in the NFL last season (on the Top 100 Players of 2011 that NFL Network ran).
He’s not a rushing guy. He’s a blocker and a receiver. Last season, he had 8 receptions for 91 yards, an 11.4 average. Defensively, he had 8 tackles last season, 6 of them being solo. However, his stats don’t show what he does. He’ll block and open lanes up for Ray Rice to do serious damage. With this move, it’s clear that the Ravens are focusing on the run game more (unlike last season). To me, this move makes it seem like the Ravens will call for Rice to run the ball way more often because they went out there and got the best FB in the league who will be able to assist Ray Rice in running the ball for major gains.
With this good pick-up, we also lose someone. Le’Ron McClain, one of the Ravens free agents, will most likely be headed to another team with this signing. It was already unlikely for him to re-sign with Baltimore as he wants to carry the ball more. We will miss McClain but I think the gain we get with Leach will be marvelous for the rushing offense this season.