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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

Shaq Leonard addresses 1 rumor about why Colts cut him

Darius Leonard looking up

Aug 8, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) looks at the video board against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts stunned the NFL world when they waived Shaq Leonard, and the All-Pro linebacker says the move was not made at his request.

Leonard issued a statement on Tuesday saying farewell to Indianapolis and thanking Colts fans. There was immediately speculation that he asked to be cut, as Leonard had been openly frustrated about his lack of playing time.

Leonard then spoke with the media a few hours later while he was handing out Thanksgiving turkeys as part of a charity drive in Indianapolis. He said it was “the biggest surprise ever” when the Colts cut him. Leonard also said he had been asking to meet with Indy’s coaching staff and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley approached him on Monday to talk.

“I don’t make those decisions. It was shocking,” Leonard said. “I asked for a little bit of a meeting. I guess I got a little bit of a meeting. So, I guess you gotta be careful what you ask for.”

It seems like Leonard was planning to express to the Colts’ coaches that he was unhappy with his role. Rather than coming to some sort of mutual solution, the team decided to release him. Leonard says he was “hurt” by the way things were handled.

Leonard has been one of the best linebackers in football since the Colts selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The 28-year-old made four consecutive Pro Bowl teams from 2018-2021. He was also named a First-team All-Pro three times during that span.

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