Vonta Leach Officially Released by Baltimore Ravens After Contract Dispute

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJune 10, 2013

Veteran fullback Vonta Leach is looking for a new team as the Ravens released him this morning.

UPDATE: Tuesday, June 11, at 11:35 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Ravens were unable to find a trade partner and have released Vonta Leach.
---End of update---

The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson and Jeff Zrebiec reported that the Ravens will look to trade or even release the Pro Bowl lead blocker, and that could happen as early as Tuesday. 

The reason is not performance-based; instead, it stems from a contract impasse. 

As Wilson and Zrebiec note, the two sides had been in negotiations over a contract that is scheduled to pay Leach a base salary of $3 million this season. The contract also comes with a cap hit of $4.33 million.   

Leach had been optimistic that the two sides could reach an agreement, but he also made it clear last week that he would have no reservations about continuing his career elsewhere, according to Wilson and Zrebiec.

"We're both still here, so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, it can work out for both of us. If it don't, I feel like I still can play in this league and I'll have a job somewhere," Leach told the press.

Leach, 31, has been a starter for Baltimore since arriving in 2011. He's a punishing lead blocker, a veteran leader and has made the Pro Bowl three straight years. He shouldn't have any problem finding a new home. 

For the Ravens, this is just the latest in a series of difficult roster decisions as they continue to battle the salary cap. 

While Leach's experience and talent will be missed, the Ravens have a much cheaper and younger option at the position. In the 2013 NFL draft, the Ravens selected Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the fourth round.

The youngster will have some big shoes to fill once the Ravens eventually cut ties with the veteran Leach.