The Indianapolis Colts announced Tuesday that they waived linebacker Shaquille Leonard, a defensive linchpin for the better part of his stay in Indiana.
“Colts Nation will always remember The Maniac’s palpable energy on the field with each tackle, interception, punchout, and fumble recovery,” Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay said. “Off the field, he’s a servant leader and assisted numerous families in both his hometown and the Indianapolis community. We’re thankful for Shaq and the contributions he made to our organization. We wish him and his beautiful family the best moving forward.”
Leonard posted a message to X, formerly known as “Twitter,” expressing appreciation for his time in Indianapolis.
Across the nine games he appeared in this season, Leonard totaled 65 combined tackles. He was limited to just three games last season due to a back injury.
The Colts selected Leonard with the No. 36 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of South Carolina State. In his rookie season, Leonard logged an NFL-high 163 combined tackles, accompanied by seven sacks. He posted 120-plus combined tackles in each of his first four NFL seasons and led the sport with eight forced fumbles in 2021.
Leonard racked up three Pro Bowl Game nods and three All-Pro honors and was the 2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He was in the second season of a five-year, $98.5 million deal. Roughly $52.5 million of that contract was guaranteed.
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