Shaquille Leonard Joins Philadelphia Eagles: A Low-Risk Move with High Hopes

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Shaquille Leonard
Shaquille Leonard (Credits: New York Post)

Shaquille Leonard, a three-time Pro Bowler formerly with the Indianapolis Colts, has thrust himself into the heart of the NFC East’s intense rivalry by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, as reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday. The Eagles officially announced the signing later.

The decision follows Leonard’s visits with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday and the Eagles on Wednesday. Opting for the first-place Philadelphia team, the reigning NFC champions, Leonard aims to contribute to their Super Bowl aspirations in the upcoming stretch run.

Shaquille Leonard
Shaquille Leonard (Credits: Marca)

While it’s uncertain if Leonard will be immediately active, his arrival precedes a crucial prime-time clash with the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Eagles, currently standing at 10-2, are eager to fortify their rushing defense, particularly after a Week 13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which exposed vulnerabilities in that aspect of their game.

Waived unexpectedly by the Indianapolis Colts, the 28-year-old Leonard seeks to revive his celebrated career, which has been hampered by injuries. Joining the Eagles’ linebacking corps alongside Nicholas Morrow and the injured Zach Cunningham, Leonard’s potential impact is significant, provided he regains his prime form—a lingering question.

In his sixth season, Leonard commenced his career on a Hall of Fame trajectory, earning the 2018 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year and three first-team All-Pro accolades. However, injuries have plagued this standout linebacker, including back surgery before the 2022 season, limiting him to just three games that year. In 2023, Leonard started nine games for the Colts but fell short of the elite level of play seen in previous years, leading to frustration with his utilization under a new coaching staff.

For the Eagles, the signing represents a low-risk move orchestrated by general manager Howie Roseman, earning praise as Leonard’s salary is covered by Indianapolis after clearing waivers. This makes Leonard a cost-effective addition with the potential for an all-star impact. In his quest for redemption, Leonard is now bound for his second NFL team, aiming to recapture his All-Pro form and contribute to the Eagles’ lofty expectations for 2023.


By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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