August 1, 2014

NFL Rumors: Browns interested in former Ravens FB Vonta Leach

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly interested in former Baltimore Ravens fullback Vonta Leach.

Leach was released from the Ravens on June 11 following a season where he graded out as the best lead blocker in football per Pro Football Focus. The move was due to Leach’s cap number (roughly $4.3 million) coupled with the replacement of Cam Cameron as the offensive coordinator in Baltimore.

Leach, 31, has had three-consecutive All-Pro seasons and is said to be garnering plenty of attention in addition to the Browns. He has gone on record to say that his first choice is to play for the Houston Texans, but is also a potential target for the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants.

The fullback position in Cleveland was largely ignored during the recent off-season, and is currently owned by Owen Marecic and Brad Smelley. When recently asked about the fullback position during the team’s three-day minicamp, Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski stated that he was unsure regarding the future of the position.

“That’s a position where, until you get in pads, it’s really difficult to evaluate,” said Chudzinski. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have all different types of fullbacks. Whtere it was the guy that’s a blocker and that’s all he does, to a guy who has been a runner and more of a tailback-type guy, to the other guys who are more of a receiver-type guy.

“We will know [what direction we want] when we get pads on.”

[Related: The current negative streak in Cleveland Sports is truly remarkable]

  • Ben Frambaugh

    This would certainly be a little change of direction for a team that wasn’t trying to sign/retain any player over the age of 30. Still, they’d be silly to not at least entertain bringing him into the fold.

  • Harv 21

    C’mon, someone say it, you’re out there and you’re staring at the framed picture on the wall above your bed, his hands taped up to the elbows and his fierce demeanor. You still harbor that grudge, you know his departure portended the total collapse of the offense and all hope. Say it …

  • Garry_Owen

    Leach is no Vickers!!!!1111!!1!!!1!111

  • boomhauertjs

    ABM – Anyone But Marecic…

  • FearTheRoo

    Getting rid of Vickers was the worst move in the past 5 years. It made zero sense and he would have been great with Richardson.

  • mgbode

    it always seems like FB should be one of the easiest positions to play. yet, so many struggle with it. perhaps the ability to run full speed through a still-developing hole, find & block a defender who is attempting to make you miss him is a bit tougher than we all think.

    that is the only reason I hold out any semblence of hope on Marecic. though, he hasn’t actually shown anything on the field to garner that hope.

  • mgbode

    how dare you? Vickers? It’s Sir Lawrence of Devastation Vickers to you, laddie.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I have seen nothing from Marecic that says he’s a keeper. Questionable hands…not sure of his ability to run with the ball, but he didn’t do a stellar job filling the hole in the running game either. This could have as much to do with his abilities as it did our coaching staff to utilize him. I liked Vickers…but he did have some mental lapses where he would get a bit too aggressive and cost us yards. I don’t recall seeing “too much aggression” from Marecic.

  • mgbode

    Vickers also dropped some of the easiest passes ever thrown to a FB. I did like him as a blocker.

    as noted, I haven’t seen anything either. the only hope is that FB is a learning position. I’d feel much better just getting Leach and not having to think about FB this year though.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I guess it depends on what type of offense is looking to run. I would certainly have no problem with the Browns picking Leach up.

  • BenRM

    I don’t like Marecic because I never spell his name correctly on the first attempt.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    No doubt. If you’re going to have a tough name to spell, make it worth the attempt by being good enough to be interested! LOL
    It was worth learning how to spelly Zydrunas Ilgauskas. That kid in the draft from Greece…I’m not going to try unless he becomes a Cav and plays well.

  • Garry_Owen

    How can you forget the phantoms of the RG3 and Chip Kelly contracts that never were???

    Fans have found lots of fake reasons to be infuriated in the last 2 years, let alone 5. The false Vickers narrative has to sink to the bottom in light of these weighty wights.

  • Harv 21

    yes… yes!!! They “got rid” of Saint Lawrence by not signing him to the expensive multiyear he demanded when they were trying to change the FB role to a guy who could catch dinkies from Colt rather than just roadblock for Hillis. And, of course, Richardson was a year away from the draft, but a good org would have just signed and stashed a misfit part … And of course, he only played one year for Houston, did little and was cut.

    But it always comes down to this, forever and ever and ever: PAT IS A CLOWN. Makes me ill whenever I hear the saint’s name mentioned now. Just like Sasha Pavlovic and JJ Hickson.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    $hamrock endorses this decision!

  • mgbode

    Giannis Adetokunbo? He’s not too bad once you realize he’s Nigerian-Greek (so, first name Greek, last name Nigerian). And, one of my “on an island” picks – he’s better than Karasev (just on what I have read as I haven’t seen either of them live).

    that French kid, I can never get his first name right:
    Mouhammadou Jaiteh
    (I tried to spell this correctly, gave up, looked it up. it is as above and I can never remember it correctly. even got the last name wrong on my guess — Mouhammedeu Jaetah)

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    agree with all of the above, but in true Cleveland mythical fashion, Vickers did catch a critical 4th down pass against us, turn to our sidelines and give them a “you made a mistake glance”

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I’m a fan of Rudy Gobert with the #19 (if he falls that far) and like the idea of Karasev (who I think can be a very good bench player / sub-standard starter).

    I know nothing about Giannis, haven’t done much research on him (and won’t get to your link below til sometime this afternoon.)

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Pavlovic, Hickson and Drew Gooden were so infuriating to watch. They’d make the occasional good play…but then botch something in epic fashion. LOL It’s like their body couldn’t handle that they were doing something well…and the brain processed a brain fart to counter it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Marecic made Vickers look like Lynn Swann!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    E.T. phone home!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Len, Gobert and Adams were/are all guys I would think about later in round 1 which is another reason I wasn’t hitched to the Noel #1 bandwagon.

    Heck I’d even kick the tires on Al Jefferson to see just how expensive he might be but ideally he returns home and ships back to Boston.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I am not as big a fan of Jefferson as others might be. He won’t provide much on defense…and that’s something we desperately need.
    I’d actually be OK with the Cavs drafting both Noel and Gobert/Adams (Len will likely be gone before we could get to him.) Early in Noel’s career, you can use him as a rim protector from the PF spot…and he’s athletic enough to hang out on the perimeter (defensively) where the Stretch-4′s like to go. Guys like Kevin Love, Dirk and others would have a harder time killing us there.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    On an island pick I see what you did there!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I like Big Al hence perfect for the Celtics but that would require a ton of $$ and probably a different direction for the Cavaliers. Still at least it was an option.

    I can’t see Noel and another big man not with Thompson, Varejao and Zeller around. Perhaps if one of them was moved maybe but I’d prefer to see Thompson be somewhat of a focal point going forward. Improve around him, he earned it with his play last year. This is another reason why I don’t see Noel fitting in as well. I’d prefer a legitimate, standard type center to go along with Zeller which is why I’d be looking at one with that additional first round pick.

  • Harv 21

    Those names were invoked for analogy purposes only. Consider your blatant thread hijack attempt exposed.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I imagine that if we do draft Noel and Andy is healthy, Chris Grants sees what he can get with his (sort of) expiring contract at the deadline.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    LOL – wasn’t meant to hijack the thread…just adding one name to the list.

  • mgbode

    christian eyenga

  • mgbode

    and here I thought everyone missed it. at least I crack myself up :)

  • mgbode

    Len (if the stress fracture checks out) sure, but I don’t know about Adams and have been reading alot of bad stuff on Gobert and Nogueira lately (strangely as they seem to rise on most mocks).

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m sure the closer draft day gets the more you’ll read things it’s the nature of the beast. If one of the better teams ends up drafting them that’ll be a partial answer.

  • mgbode

    i’ve been reading on Bebe for years now. not sure he has remade himself because he was a loafing, self-absorbed meglomaniac for a long-time according to most scouts. some scouts absolutely love Gobert and some seem to hate him with no in-between. not sure which ones to trust.

    Adams I’m low on because I saw him play and was unimpressed. He seems like a very late 1st round / 2nd round draft project but he’s slated to go around our 19th pick. No thanks (alot of better players should be there).

  • Kildawg

    Leach is a complete package FB, just not fast enough to be a RB. The teams looking at him, Browns included, have the cap space to sign him and a need for a good FB. He’d be worth $3M/yr for several years.