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Smith on Leach: “We want him back”

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 26, 2011 – 2:32 pm

Texans fullback Vonta Leach, a 2010 first-team All-Pro who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent, indicated on Twitter last week that he doesn’t think the Texans want to re-sign him.

Texans general manager Rick Smith was asked about those comments on Tuesday at his pre-draft press conference at Reliant Stadium.

“We’ve talked to Vonta and his representatives, and he knows we want him back,” Smith said. “We’ve communicated that to him.”

The Texans have not been able to talk to any of their players, including prospective free agents like Leach, since the lockout began on March 12.

“All of our players that are free or potentially free, we will sit down with them, talk to them (after the lockout),” Smith said. “We were able to get a little bit of business done prior to the league year ending… We will continue to work that process and that plan when we’re able to do so. And at the end of the day, it’s just like it is always. You sit down and you assess value and you talk about what the guy can do and you let them know you want them. And if you can get a deal done, you get a deal done. If he can get a deal somewhere else, or if any of them can get deals somewhere else that they feel better about, then we bless them. But we want Vonta back.”

Smith called the fullback position “a bit of a dying art” when asked about the crop available in this year’s draft. His press conference ended with a question about what direction the Texans would go at fullback if Leach does not return.

“I think that there’s some options,” Smith said. “We won’t know anything about our ability to sign Vonta back prior to the draft, but I don’t think we’re going into the draft saying we’ve got to get a fullback. That’s kind of a bit of a hypothetical.”

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