@thephinsider Kevin, if you're the Dolphins, do you go all out on getting Vonta, or is he more of a luxury player?— Michael (@BadWolf_24) June 24, 2013
In case you've missed it over the past couple of weeks, the Miami Dolphins are in pursuit of free agent fullback Vonta Leach. The three time All Pro was released by the Baltimore Ravens after the two sides could not agree on a reduced salary. Since then, the Dolphins have clearly been the most aggressive team in trying to lure Leach onto the roster.
Michael asks a great question. Is Miami's pursuit of Leach simply a luxury, or should they do whatever they can to bring in Leach?
I think the best answer is, it's somewhere in between. Leach is an upgrade over Jorvoraskie Lane, and would improve both the running game and the pass protection for the Dolphins. However, he would also be a detriment to the development of Lane, as well as some guys like Charles Clay and Evan Rodriguez, all of whom would lose snaps to Leach.
He's also going to be relatively expensive. He was scheduled to make $3 million with the Ravens, who wanted him to reduce that number to $2 million, with possible incentives. Leach rejected that plan, and ended up cut. Assuming he will sign for less than $3 million, but probably won't agree to $2 million, means he will likely be looking for a $2.5 million salary in 2013. He's also stated he wants to play three more seasons, which would mean he is likely looking for a contract averaging around $3 million per season.
All of that is pure speculation, but it does make sense, and is expensive for the position.
The team has been talking up the pass blocking ability of Lamar Miller, lately. He will likely be the starting tailback, and will be asked to do plenty of pass blocking. Leach's presence on the roster could signal a lack of faith in Miller, or any of the tailbacks/fullbacks, to be able to pick up a pass rusher.
It could also be a simple opportunity to bring in a highly talented veteran, who would upgrade the position.
I don't think the signing of Leach would be a pure luxury move for Miami. However, I don't think it is something they absolutely have to do either.
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