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Ravens release Leach, McClain

Vonta Leach won't be playing for the Ravens in 2014.
Vonta Leach won't be playing for the Ravens in 2014.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

In what is not exactly a surprising announcement, the Baltimore Ravens released fullback Vonta Leach and linebacker Jameel McClain.

Leach was let go last year but ultimately returned at a lower price. He did not play particularly well and the team went away from two back sets, though much of the running game problems can be pinned on the offensive line and Ray Rice.

McClain finally returned from a neck injury but didn't make much of an impact.

Ozzie Newsome did say that the Ravens could possibly bring one or both of those guys back at a later time, but that's highly doubtful. Each saw their roles and skills diminish last year and the Ravens want to get younger and faster at those positions.

The moves allow the Ravens to open up close to an additional $5 million under the salary cap, which would prove important with free agency looming.

The Ravens have until March 3 to slap the franchise tag on one of their players, and they are still in discussions about possible contract with left tackle Eugene Monroe after re-signing tight end Dennis Pitta.

The Ravens want Monroe back on a long-term deal, but certainly don't want to overpay for his services. It seems unlikely the Ravens would use the tag on Monroe because of how much money left tackles make under that designation.

Monroe would generate a lot of interest if he made it to free agency as solid left tackles don't grow on trees, making it much more difficult for the team to retain him.

Baltimore already created extra salary cap room when they came to an agreement on contract extensions with both Pitta and linebacker Terrell Suggs.