Former All-Pro Shaq Leonard Targeted By 'Multiple Teams': Report

By Jason Hall

November 23, 2023

NFL: NOV 05 Colts at Panthers
Photo: Getty Images

Former All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard is reportedly being targeted by "multiple teams" following his recent release from the Indianapolis Colts, the Athletic's Dianna Russini reports.

Leonard, who was suddenly waived by the Colts on Tuesday (November 21), has reportedly garnered interest from the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and others after clearing waivers on Wednesday (November 22).

"Multiple teams are discussing adding Shaq Leonard including the Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings, and more. I was told Leonard is going to take his time making a decision as to where he wants to play," Russini wrote on her X account.

Leonard, who entered the league as 'Darius Leonard' before specifying that he had gone by his middle name prior to the 2022 season, spent his entire career with the Colts and was a defensive captain.

"Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms," Leonard wrote in a post shared on his social media accounts announcing his release on Tuesday. "These past 6 years [have] been nothing but incredible! Through the good times and bad time[s] y'all stood by my side. I apologize for not bringing that trophy back to the 317. The energy in Lucas Oil [Stadium] has been nothing but amazing and I thank you for every memory. I'm thankful to play for such an amazing fan base. I love you guys and wish the Colts nothing but the best!

"Maniac out."

Earlier this month, Leonard expressed his frustration with his limited role in 2023 via FOX 59's Dave Griffiths.

Leonard was selected by the Colts at No. 36 overall in the second-round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The former South Carolina State standout made an immediate impact, earning his first of three First-team All-Pro selections, his first of four Pro Bowl selections and winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, having led the league with a career-best 163 total tackles (111 solo).

Leonard was limited to just one start and three appearances last season due to a back vertebral disc bulge and admitted that he contemplated retirement prior to the 2023 NFL season.

"Not being able to do a calf raise, just feeling pain every morning when you wake up, can't bend, can't lift, can't twist, so you have them thoughts," Leonard said via "But you just have to make sure you continue to fight through all the bad things that you're going through, and truly just focus on the wins, the small wins, the small gains every day, and that's what's getting me through it.

"...It's been hard, very emotional, a lot of stress, going through a lot of pain and unknown, and just a lot of mixed emotions, not knowing if I'd ever be back, if I would ever run the same, play the same, if I would feel no pain. And luckily, I just kind of kept my head down and just followed the plan and trusted the process, and put all the faith in the big man upstairs, and luckily I'm here just enjoying and embracing every moment."

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