Can Shaq Leonard soar with the Philadelphia Eagles?
With the Cowboys doing their research, their NFC East rivals are also tapping into the potential of adding Shaquille Leonard to their defense.
The 28-year-old linebacker would fit nicely in a Philadelphia Eagles front seven that is stout along the defensive line much like the Indianapolis Colts. As a player who is more than likely looking to sign with a contending team or at least a team he feels he can help, the Eagles should be intriguing for Leonard.
Again, with a defensive front loaded with Jordan Davis, Josh Sweet and rookie Jalen Carter, the linebackers could use the boost with Leonard who can once again shine playing alongside Haason Reddick and Zach Cunningham with Nakobe Dean on injured reserve.
As pointed out by veteran cornerback Darius Slay, the Eagles have a history of infusing veteran defensive players into their system and if Leonard wants to win, Philly is the place to be.
“If we get to that age in your lifetime in the football world, and if I was one of those guys just out there at home and chilling, and a team called me that’s 9-1, 10-1, Yes! Yes! I’m coming,” Slay said in regards to Leonard’s free agency decision. “I want a championship. I want to be able to play in the playoffs. I want to do those type of things. So if I was a veteran guy, I would go to a winning situation.”
It should be about winning for Leonard who will still get his $15.7 million base salary from the Cols in 2023. With Indianapolis still on the hook for that guaranteed money, Leonard can focus on winning the remainder of the season and putting himself in position for another big contract if he can be a factor on a Super Bowl winning team. Why not the Eagles?
How about Shaq Leonard with the Buffalo Bills?
If Shaq Leonard is looking for a short-term option and a place he can help a team make a deep playoff run, why not the Buffalo Bills?
With the loss of All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano, Leonard could be an option to come in and help the Bills at the linebacker position on a short-term basis, which Bleacher Report highlights in their list of teams Leonard should sign with.
In listing the Bills as an intriguing option, B/R writer Paul Kasabian writes:
“Leonard could, in theory, sign with the Bills on a one-year minimum deal in hopes of landing a more lucrative, long-term contract elsewhere. He'd have an opportunity to showcase his talents for a Bills team with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball but only a 6-5 record to show for it.”
Adding Leonard to the mix could give Buffalo a nice boost as they look to finish out the season strong. With veteran pass rusher Von Miller anchoring the defense, a re-energized Shaq Leonard could find his swag again playing on a team fueled to turn a mediocre season into a memorable by striving late in the season.
Out of all the three teams listed, the Bills may be the odd team out, but a team Leonard could make the most impact on given the rest of their 2024 NFL schedule which features the Eagles, Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and a rematch with the Miami Dolphins.