FRISCO, TX — After visits to both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, Shaquille Leonard took the weekend to take in the games and make his decision on where he'd sign for the remainder of the 2023 season and, per multiple reports, he's expected to join the Eagles on a one-year deal that extends to free agency in March.
It is unknown if he'll suit up against the Cowboys on Sunday.
The four-time All-Pro linebacker flew in from Indianapolis to meet with the Cowboys and things went very well during the visit, per the team's front office and coaching staff. And while Dallas went on to win a shootout against the Seattle Seahawks to move to 9-3 on the season and a four-game win streak, the Eagles suffered a humiliating blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Philadelphia.
One day later, Leonard is joining the latter.
Leonard, 28, is a former second-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts (2018) who wasted no time whatsoever in putting his imprint on the league. The native of South Carolina made his way to the NFL by way of a decorated collegiate career at South Carolina State, earning PFWA All-Rookie Team honors in his first year with the Colts as well as being named a First-Team All-Pro, a Pro Bowler and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
It was a massive launchpad for the next several years of his career, and helped him earn a five-year extension with the Colts that made him the highest paid at his position in August 2021.
The injury bug sank its teeth into Leonard not long thereafter, however, registering only one start in 2022 following recovery from back surgery, a concussion and a setback to the issue with his back. He's been healthy since, though, available for nine outings in Indy before his relationship with the team soured, ultimately leading to the club waiving him in November.
He'd go on to clear waivers and enter free agency, available to sign with any team.
Time will tell the story of Leonard's impact on the 2023 season, but his decision adds a major headline to a rivalry and coming matchup that was already spilling over with them.