Former Colts LB Shaquille Leonard reportedly drawing interest from top teams in NFL

Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is now a free agent, and according to recent reports, he’ll have the chance to join a championship contender.
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts will return to action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Week 12 matchup will be Indy’s first game without linebacker Shaquille Leonard on the roster since 2017. Since drafting Leonard in 2018, he has been a pillar in Indianapolis, a face of the franchise, and a star defender. That all changed when Indy shockingly released him on Tuesday.

Leonard’s declining play and massive contract led to everyone thinking he would be released during the offseason. Indy, for whatever reason, decided to get the move out the way now. While Leonard was admittedly surprised and hurt by the move, it’s looking like the four-time All-Pro linebacker will land on his feet.

Leonard cleared waivers after being released, so he’s currently a free agent, free to sign with whatever team he wants. Based on early reports, Leonard will have a lot of options. Several NFL insiders have reported that quite a few teams are interested in adding Leonard, with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles being among the most interested.

Several teams, including Cowboys and Eagles, interested in Shaquille Leonard

Upon the news of Leonard’s release, everyone including Dallas and Philadelphia in the teams that make sense for Leonard’s next stop. Both teams have been in search of linebackers to add to their roster, and as contending teams, they’ll definitely want to make the moves that give them the best chance to win a championship.

Leonard hasn’t really laid out what he’s looking for in his next team, but everyone assumes he wants to join a contender for the rest of the season and have a chance to win a Super Bowl. That makes the most sense, unless he signs a multi-year deal with some team, which seems unlikely. All we know for sure is that Leonard isn’t considering retirement and that he wanted to take a little time with his decision.

Released on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Leonard wasn’t going to play in Week 12 for a new squad, so there was no rush to make a decision before this week of games. We’ll see in the coming days if he has a decision or if he wants to take even more time.