It is no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles have been a little thin at linebacker this season. The Birds lost T.J. Edwards to the Chicago Bears in free agency over the summer and, more recently, have had to put Nakobe Dean on the injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury. While Zach Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow have done an admirable job, they could always use a little backup.
Well, on Tuesday afternoon the Indianapolis Colts announced that LB Shaq Leonard was being waived. The 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year and three-time first-team All-Pro performer posted a “thank you” message to Colts fans and will now go through the waiver process. If no one claims him, he’ll become a free agent and could sign with any team that he wants.
Indy, I thank you pic.twitter.com/VxMa1VU2IA— Darius Shaquille Leonard (@dsleon45) November 21, 2023
That is what the Eagles will be hoping happens because, in case you’ve forgotten, they have the best record in the league which means they are last in waiver priority. Leonard won’t come cheaply, as broken down by Field Yates below, but the Eagles will almost certainly do their due diligence on a player of his caliber.
If a team were to claim Shaq Leonard off of waivers, it would owe him $6.11M for the remainder of this season.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 21, 2023
He's under contract through 2026, due as follows:
Leonard has been battling injuries in recent years, which is why the Colts felt the need to move on from him. After the 2021 season he had back surgery which caused him to miss the first three games of the 2022 season. In his first game back he suffered a concussion, which caused him to miss the following three contests, and then he suffered a setback (no pun intended) with his back surgery before Week 10 and was placed on IR.
This year Leonard has started nine games for the Colts, racking up 65 tackles (29 solo). It is worth noting that Nick Sirianni was Indianapolis’ offensive coordinator from 2018-2020, so he already has a familiarity with Leonard and his skillset. We’ll obviously keep you posted if the Birds become serious contenders for Leonard’s services.