December 4, 2023   2 MIN READ

Help On The Way?

Hurting Birds Sign Free-Agent LB Shaq Leonard


One day after linebacker injury issues played a significant role in an Eagles blowout loss, the team added to the position.

The Eagles on Monday announced that they agreed to terms with free agent linebacker Shaq Leonard, who made three Pro Bowl and three All-Pro teams with the Colts before a steep decline led to his benching this season and eventual release.

Shaq Leonard

GETTY IMAGES: Free-agent LB Shaq Leonard decides to sign with Eagles, can help upgrade a thin position.

Leonard, 28, joins an Eagles defense that’s been missing second-year linebacker Nakobe Dean, who’s on injured reserve for the second time, and was without starter Zach Cunningham on Sunday in a 42-19 loss to the 49ers at the Linc.,

Capitalizing on several missed tackles at the middle level featuring linebackers Nic Morrow and Christian Elliss – who were both undrafted – the 49ers totaled more than 450 yards and more than 140 rushing yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. It was coach Nick Sirianni’s second-most lopsided loss in nearly three seasons coaching the team.

Leonard’s signing with the Eagles could signal that the team isn’t expecting Cunningham back for their Week 14 game Sunday against Dallas.

Leonard, the 36th overall pick in 2018, has been dogged by back injuries and some other injuries since signing a major extension in 2021. The Colts waived him during the team’s bye week despite owing him about $6 million this season, an indication of just how much the team believed his play had declined.

Personnel sources have likewise told Inside The Birds that Leonard’s play just hasn’t matched his production from 2018-2021.

Leonard, who played at South Carolina State, visited the Cowboys and Eagles last week but took the weekend to make his decision before agreeing to join the Eagles.

Ironically, his decision against signing with Dallas means his first game as an Eagle will come against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

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