Shaquille Leonard has made his decision. The free-agent linebacker has agreed to a one-year deal to join the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Monday. The specific financial terms of Leonard's deal with the Eagles with not immediately disclosed.
This signing comes after Leonard was released by the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 21 after spending the first five years of his NFL career with the franchise. Since then, the 28-year-old has been exploring the free agent market, which included visits to both Dallas and Philadelphia. With both NFC East clubs in the thick of the Super Bowl conversation and each needed some help at middle linebacker this off-the-field battle for Leonard's services drew the attention of the rest of the NFL. In the end, the Eagles were able to win out, and just in time for their Week 14 visit to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday.
Leonard joins a Philadelphia defense that has been hit by injuries at his position. The club lost second-year linebacker Nakobe Dean due to a Lisfranc injury that saw him land back on injured reserve in mid-November. Fellow linebacker Zach Cunningham missed Week 13 due to a hamstring injury as well, so the arrival of Leonard provides some much-needed reinforcements at that position.
There's also some familiarity between Leonard and the Eagles due to head coach Nick Sirianni. He was the offensive coordinator for the Colts from 2018-2020 when Leonard first entered the league. While working on different sides of the ball, Sirianni was able to see firsthand what Leonard -- a four-time All-Pro and Defensive Rookie of the Year (2018) -- is capable of.
In nine games played for the Colts this season, Leonard totaled 65 tackles.