On Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles signed former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard to a one-year contract.
After getting waived by the Colts, Leonard visited the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday. He visited with the Eagles on Wednesday. The Cowboys and Eagles were the two teams Leonard was deciding to sign with.
Leonard joins an Eagles linebacker corps that has been inconsistent and has had to deal with injuries. Nakobe Dean is currently on injured reserve with a foot injury, and Zach Cunningham missed Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a hamstring injury. Christian Elliss, Nicholas Morrow, and Ben VanSumeren are the only linebackers on the active roster for the Eagles, so adding Leonard was much needed.
The Eagles linebackers struggled against the 49ers, so Leonard will be an upgrade for them, and he will provide some much-needed depth. He played in nine games for the Colts, but his performance wasn‘t at an elite level like it had been in the past. That’s probably because he’s recovering from having two back surgeries last year, and his playing time has been inconsistent.
"I always say that they say [complaints] are OK until you step on toes," he said in November about his displeasure with his playing time. "I said that two weeks ago, and I still stand by it. I don't know if that played a part. Do I think it plays somewhat of a part in it? Yes, because they could see it as a distraction. But I tried to be respectful with my answer."
Leonard has 614 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, and 17 forced fumbles in his career. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2018, 2020, and 2021. When the Eagles play the Cowboys on Sunday night, the Eagles defense should be better than they were against the 49ers since Leonard will be playing.
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