Seahawks Draft Blog understands that Houston full back Vonta Leach will be on Seattle’s radar when the lockout ends.
The 29-year-old made the Pro-Bowl last season blocking for the NFL’s leading rusher Arian Foster and was also selected to the AP’s NFL All-Pro team. With Leach’s assistance, Foster recorded 1616 rushing yards in 2010 and set a new record for total yards from scrimmage by an undrafted free agent.
With the Seahawks often expressing a desire to dramatically improve their running game, interest in Leach is no real surprise. Under Pete Carroll the Seahawks spent two first round picks on offensive tackles, invested in big name offensive line coaches such as Alex Gibbs and Tom Cable and brought Marshawn Lynch to Seattle from Buffalo. In 2010 the team ranked 31st in the NFL for rushing despite initially stating the running game would become the focal point of the offense.
There is history between Leach and the Seahawks hierarchy – he signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2004 before departing two years later. This coincides with GM John Schneider’s time within the Packers organisation.
As I was compiling this piece, John McClain from the Houston Chronicle tweeted:
“One of the first things the Texans should do when the lockout ends is to make an offer to FB Vonta Leach that will keep him in Houston.”
Interest in Leach is expected to be steady despite the low-key nature of the full back position.When the lockout ends it appears teams will be granted a three-day period to sign their own free agents before the open market kicks into action. Therefore, the Seahawks may not even get the opportunity to present an offer to Leach’s representatives if he re-signs with Houston. If he does hit the open market, competition will exist with other teams also likely to explore the opportunity to poach arguably the best blocking full back in the NFL.
If the Seahawks follow through their interest with an offer, it could be costly. Leach has voiced his desire to become the highest paid full back in the league, a distinction currently held by former-Seahawk Leonard Weaver when he signed a $11.2m deal in Philadelphia with $6.5m in guarantees. It remains to be seen whether the Seahawks would be willing to commit to a three-year contract for a player who turns 30 in November that contains upwards of $7m in guarantees.
It’s also understood that the Seahawks have interest in UDFA offensive lineman Michael Huey. He played his football with the Texas Longhorns at guard and is listed at 6-4 and 304lbs. His 2010 season ended prematurely with an MCL tear in his right knee against Baylor last October. He’s since recovered and benched 36 reps at his pro-day to go along with a 5.15 forty-yard dash and a 4.60 short shuttle.
Huey was considered the most consistent feature on a disappointing Texas line last season and was offered a late round grade for the draft.