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Report: Former Colts LB Shaquille Leonard signs with contending Eagles for season’s final stretch

The Colts’ former All-Pro linebacker rejoins head coach Nick Sirianni in Philadelphia, both realistically eyeing a potential Super Bowl run.

NFL: NOV 05 Colts at Panthers Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, former Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker (now recently turned free agent) Shaquille Leonard has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for the season’s final stretch run on a one-year deal:

While Leonard had strong interest from two strong NFC East rivals—visiting both, it was the contending 10-2 Eagles over the 9-3 Dallas Cowboys that ultimately won out.

The 4x NFL All-Pro was surprisingly released by the Colts in-season a few weeks ago, as he’s been seemingly unable to fully recover physically from two back surgeries and a lingering lower leg nerve issue that’s limited him over the last two seasons.

Leonard had been serving in a platoon with E.J. Speed at the Colts ‘Will’ linebacker spot, handling running down duties before being subbed out on obvious passing downs.

He was consistently unhappy with his reduced playing time, and the Colts were looking to make a change to Speed full-time regardless—as Leonard would’ve otherwise been a ‘healthy’ inactive going forward, had it not been for his shocking midseason release to provide him a better opportunity elsewhere.

Leonard had 65 tackles (34 solo) during 9 starts for the Colts this season.

The Eagles have been seeking upgrades in their struggling linebacking corps, and while Leonard presumably isn’t what he once was when he was truly ‘The Maniac,’ he may still be able to help out a contender with his instincts, play-recognition, and unique knack for finding the football.

Given the truly great seasons he had with Indianapolis as a special player, as well as the servant leader he was in the community, Colts fans obviously wish him well in Philly going forward.