Former All-Pro LB Shaq Leonard To Join Super Bowl Contender

NFL: NOV 05 Colts at Panthers

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Free agent former All-Pro linebacker Shaq Leonard has "agreed to terms on a one-year deal" with the Philadelphia Eagles, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday (December 4).

Leonard, 28, was reportedly deciding between the Eagles and the NFC East Division rival Dallas Cowboys, their Week 14 opponent, having visited both teams last week.

"Sources: The #Eagles and former #Colts All-Pro LB Shaq Leonard have agreed to terms on a 1-year deal after he took a visit to Philly last week. A potential big addition for the stretch run. Leonard also visited the #Cowboys, but Philly was always the preferred spot," Rapoport wrote on his X account.

The Eagles confirmed the move minutes after Rapoport's report.

"We've agreed to terms on a one-year deal with LB Shaquille Leonard," the Eagles wrote on their X account.

Leonard, who entered the league as 'Darius Leonard' before specifying that he had gone by his middle name prior to the 2022 season, spent his entire career with the Colts and was a defensive captain before his sudden release on November 21.

"Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms," Leonard wrote in a post shared on his social media accounts announcing his release on Tuesday. "These past 6 years [have] been nothing but incredible! Through the good times and bad time[s] y'all stood by my side. I apologize for not bringing that trophy back to the 317. The energy in Lucas Oil [Stadium] has been nothing but amazing and I thank you for every memory. I'm thankful to play for such an amazing fan base. I love you guys and wish the Colts nothing but the best!

"Maniac out."

Earlier this month, Leonard expressed his frustration with his limited role in 2023 via FOX 59's Dave Griffiths.

Leonard was selected by the Colts at No. 36 overall in the second-round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The former South Carolina State standout made an immediate impact, earning his first of three First-team All-Pro selections, his first of four Pro Bowl selections and winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, having led the league with a career-best 163 total tackles (111 solo).

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