Fans have been patiently awaiting a decision from free agent linebacker Shaquille Leonard on where he will ultimately sign for the rest of the season. And that decision finally came on Monday.
Leonard was surprisingly released by the Indianapolis Colts last month in the middle of his sixth year with the team. During his tenure in Indianapolis, Leonard earned three Pro Bowl appearances and three All-Pro team honors.
He has been on several visits to figure out which team is the right fit for him. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, that team is the Philadelphia Eagles, who signed him to a one-year deal after a visit last week.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 4, 2023
The timing of this move is certainly interesting for the Eagles. The team certainly could have used Leonard in their Week 13 game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
In that game, the Eagles allowed the 49ers offense to put up a whopping 456 yards en route to a blowout victory in the 49ers’ favor.
Sunday’s game is a clear indicator that this Eagles defense is in need of some more playmakers. And they may have just gotten a huge solution when it comes to Shaquille Leonard.
This signing on Monday is also a big move because the Eagles have an NFC East showdown against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14. Dallas was another team that Leonard was heavily considering in free agency, so the move also stops the Cowboys from adding an impact defensive player ahead of their matchup later this week.
Leonard may no longer be the impact player he once was in Indianapolis. Some of his injuries in recent years have seemingly sapped a bit of his athleticism that made him such a great player.
That being said, adding a player like Leonard who has proven to be an All-Pro level player should be a move that Eagles fans are extremely excited about as they continue their postseason push in the NFC.