Back in February, during the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano may have accidentally let the cat out of the bag.
"I think I was on record record saying that you wouldn't get a Vonta Leach... excuse me, Vontae Davis. How about that? Wonder why I said that? We looking for a fullback? I don't think he's available. Can we scratch that from the record?"
"Blame it on the chemo."
The "blame it on the chemo" got a huge laugh everyone in the room.
On Monday, news hit the Interwebs that the Baltimore Ravens intended to cut or trade Vonta Leach, the same Vonta Leach that Pagano joked about acquiring back in February. On Tuesday, the veteran fullback was, indeed, released.
Now, it's unlikely that, back in February, Pagano and the Colts knew for certain that the Ravens were going to cut Leach. However, it's possible (unlikely, but certain plausible) that the Colts felt that Leach and the $4.3 million salary owed to him this year would be too much for Baltimore's cap.
I mean, $4.3 mill for a blocking fullback is very steep.
This offseason, the Colts have made a strong effort to lock down a quality fullback for Pep Hamilton's
West Coast No Coast Offense. They traded with the Eagles for the rights to Stanley Havili, and they signed rookie free agent Dan Moore out of Montana. While both show promise, neither is as seasoned or as good as Leach. Colts fans have seen first hand Leach's impact on a running game.
Remember when he was with the Texans? Remember Leach blasting Gary Bracket in Week One of 2010, helping Arian Foster rush for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns?
Remember the playoff game last year against the Ravens? Remember Leach opening holes that allowed for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to truck for 171 yards? Leach himself even scored a rushing touchdown in that game.
Even though the Colts are still very heavily pursuing running back Ahmad Bradshaw, do not be surprised if Leach is their next free agent target. A backfield of Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard, Stanley Havili, and Vonta Leach could be exactly what Pagano and Hamilton want in their run-heavy offense.