‘I love you guys’ | Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is leaving the Colts
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHR) - Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is leaving the Colts. The team waived Leonard on Tuesday.
He posted a letter on social media thanking fans for their support.
Leonard said in part, “Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms. These past 6 years has been nothing but incredible!”
Colts owner Jim Irsay confirmed the news a short time later, posting a letter on social media with the caption: “Tough business.”
In his letter, Irsay said the Colts Nation will always remember The Maniac’s energy on the field. He went on to comment on Leonard’s impact off the field.
“He’s a great servant leader and assisted numerous families in both his hometown and the Indianapolis community,” Irsay said. “We’re thankful for Shaq and the contributions he made for our organization.
Leonard saw the lowest snap percentage of his career following two back surgeries. He’s also suffered three concussions since joining the Colts.
At 28 years old, Leonard had four years left on a mega contract, but had an out at the end of this season.
“I’m thankful for the energy Shaq brought to our team on a daily basis. He’s a competitor, a leader, and is respected among his teammates. I wish him all the best,” said Shane Steichen, Colts head coach.
He was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Colts. Leonard played in 70 career games (68 starts) with the Colts and totaled 614 tackles (385 solo), 32.0 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks, 31 passes defended, 12 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 17 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
He was a four-time All-Pro choice (First Team in 2018, 2020 and 2021; Second Team in 2019). Leonard was also named to three Pro Bowls (2019-21). He earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors four times and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month one time.
Leonard is now a free agent.
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