Philadelphia Eagles

Three-time All-Pro linebacker Shaq Leonard expected to visit Eagles

NBC Universal, Inc.

Free agent linebacker Shaq Leonard “should be visiting” the Eagles this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday morning.

Schefter reported that Leonard, a three-time 1st-team All-Pro, was visiting the Cowboys on Tuesday.

The Colts released Leonard last week after he had started the first nine games of the season. 

Leonard, 28, was limited to three games last year after undergoing offseason back surgery and then re-injuring his back. 

Leonard, the Colts’ 2nd-round pick out of South Carolina State in 2018, was with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in Indianapolis from 2018 through 2020.

During his peak years from 2018 through 2021, Leonard was one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He had 15 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions, 31 pass deflections and 32 tackles for loss in 70 games for the Colts. 

From 2018 through 2021, only T.J. Watt forced more fumbles and no linebacker in the league had more interceptions.

With the Colts this year, he had no sacks, no interruptions, no forced fumbles and no pass deflections in 455 snaps.

Leonard was named 1st-team All-Pro after the 2018, 2020 and 2021 seasons and 2nd-team All-Pro after 2019. He made Pro Bowls after the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons.

The Eagles lost starting linebacker Nakobe Dean, presumably for the rest of the season, earlier this month, and they lost another starting linebacker, Zach Cunningham, with a hamstring injury during their win over the Bills on Sunday. It’s not known how serious that injury is.

But even with Cunningham healthy, the Eagles are very thin at linebacker. The only true off-ball linebackers on the 53-man roster are Nicholas Morrow, Cunningham and 3rd-year undrafted Christian Ellis, who replaced Cunningham Sunday.

If the Eagles sign Leonard, they would have to clear out a spot on the 53-man roster to make room. A likely candidate is slot corner Josiah Scott, who was inactive Sunday and hasn't played any defensive snaps since the Miami game.

Subscribe to Eagle Eye anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us