Cap casualties are as much a part of the NFL as touchdowns are. Today it has been reported that the Baltimore Ravens will cut Vonta Leach and Jameel McClain. The move is said to save Baltimore a little less than five million in cap space.
As hard as it may be the moves do make sense. The NFL has obviously started to move away from the fullback position and Leach was a rare part of the offense in 2013. Even with Gary Kubiak as the new offensive coordinator it was unlikely Leach’s role would have been increased all that much. Another part of the equation is that the current coaching staff likes what fullback Kyle Juszczyk brings to the table. Juszczyk was drafted last season, and although playing a minor role, has upside and more importantly is cheaper.
Jameel McClain has spent his entire six-year career as a Raven. His first few years he looked to be the successor to Ray Lewis but injuries, particularly his neck, has kept him from being a consistent producer. Coupled with Josh Bynes and second-year player Arthur Brown, there was just not enough room for McClain to be kept on.
Keep in mind that both could return as Vonta Leach is proof that can happen. Leach was also cut last offseason and then brought back after testing free-agency. The same could happen for both players this year. At the same time don’t count on it. Leach probably knows he should move on and there will be a considerable market for McClain, given his youth and potential for production.