According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, the Denver Broncos are among the teams showing interest in former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard. The former Pro Bowl linebacker was surprisingly waived by the Colts earlier this week and since has cleared waivers and is free to sign with any team.
My sense is #Cowboys defensive coaches have encouraged front office to sign Shaq Leonard. Cowboys, Eagles and Broncos have shown interest, per source.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 23, 2023
Cowboys view as instinctive, role player. Source with another team believes his movement/speed diminished by back surgeries.
Leonard had a breakout rookie year for the Colts and quickly became one of the better linebackers in the league. However, injuries have derailed his career and limited him to play in just 12 games since the start of the 2022 season. He has played in 9 games this season and has totaled 65 tackles but was receiving limited playing time with the Colts before they eventually waived him.
With him free to sign with any team, you would imagine he would be a prized free agent for contending teams looking to bolster their defense. It makes sense that the Cowboys and Eagles would show interest but it is kinda surprising to see the hottest team in the NFL currently, the Denver Broncos, among the teams showing interest. They currently have Josey Jewell, Alex Singleton on a new contract and 2023 third-round pick Drew Sanders on the roster. So, it might be hard for Leonard to find consistent playing time on the Broncos roster.
With that said, the Broncos could use an upgrade in the middle of their defense. We have seen this defense getting gashed in the running game in recent weeks and Singleton has been struggling with missed tackles and in coverage this season. So, it is possible that Leonard could be brought in to replace him or someone else as a starter on defense.
The one thing that could derail all of this is Leonard’s health. Werder states that a source from another team believes that his movement and speed are diminished because of the back injury he suffered. If true, that would explain why he was losing playing time with the Colts and possibly why they decided to move on from him. So, his medicals and physical with a team before signing will be key and something to watch as we move forward.
Personally, I believe he ends up with the Cowboys or Eagles. Both teams have bigger needs at linebacker, an easier avenue to a starting job, and appear to be two of the better teams in the NFL right now. So, it would make sense for one of them to roll the dice on Leonard. With that said, I would not be upset if the Broncos signed him. They have the hot hand right now and he possibly could help improve the middle of their defense.
So, what do you think Broncos Country? Do you think the Broncos should sign Shaquille Leonard? Or do you think his medical concerns are too much of a red flag and you would rather roll with what we currently have?