Vickers has stated his desire to stay with the Browns, a desire not reciprocated by the teams new head coach Pat Shurmur or it’s general manager Tom Heckert. Shurmur is ushering in the west coast offense and a full back is not a necessity inside this type of offensive scheme.
Moreover should we say a “lead blocking” full back, which is what Vickers is known for — devasting blocks not tremendously good pass catching ability. He says however that he is more than capable of catching passes after running the west coast in college at the University of Colorado.
The story gets worse for Vickers after the Browns drafted Stanford’s Owen Marecic in the fourth round of this years draft. Marecic is being portrayed as Vickers replacement.
Leonard on the other hand is more of hybrid fullback/runningback that is speedier than most (4.49 at Combine) that displays great hands in the passing game. Some consider him a little light for fullback (229 compared to 250 or above) although he has proven he can take on the lead role as a blocker in the NFL.
The Bengals tendered an offer to Leonard before the expiration of the old CBA for his original draft placement in the second round. Any team wanting to sign him may have to give up a second round pick if the Bengals refuse to match the offer. Funny though, as tender offers have no real merit without a CBA in place.
Leonard is 27 and Vickers is 28, so both represent an opportunity to get younger at the position. It’s also likely that they would command a similar, if not cheaper contract, then Evans would should the Saints decide to keep the veteran full back. Youth generally bears out age in the NFL.