Houston Texans make a mistake in letting Vonta Leach go: Fullback flies to theRavens
So much for the Texans using the "savings" from signing Johnathan Joseph (a $49 million contract) instead of Nnamdi Asomugha (a $60 million contract) at cornerback to keep lifeline fullback Vonta Leach.
For on the first day of training camp, Houston lost one of the keys to its running game — with Leach signing a $11-million, three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
Just like that, in the flash of a tweet (Leach broke the news himself on Twitter), the battering ram who powered the way for Arian Foster's NFL leading 1,616 rushing yards last season is gone. Baltimore running back Ray Rice will get the benefit of Leach's work now.
It's impossible to call the Texans' offseason a failure. But it's also absurd to suggest general manager Rick Smith's moves are a clear home run.
While the Texans apparently try to make due with a tight end turned fullback who has started all of four games in his two-year NFL career (hard-working Rice grad James Casey).
It's impossible to call the Texans' offseason a failure. The team clearly addressed some of its most important needs in landing Joseph and safety Danieal Manning. But it's also absurd to suggest general manager Rick Smith's moves are a clear home run — not when Leach is gone and Nnamdi could have been had.
No one is calling Houston "a dream team" a la Philadelphia.
Maybe, $11 million is too much to spend on a fullback. Maybe, Texans coach Gary Kubiak is sure his zone blocking scheme will produce big chunks of yardage no matter who is shedding tacklers for Foster. Maybe ...
The respect that Leach's Houston teammates showed for him suggests otherwise though. The Texan players absolutely loved the 6-foot, 255-pound force. From Matt Schaub on down, they understand how valuable Leach is.
Was it a good offseason for the Texans? Yes. A great one? Let's not get crazy.