INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have waived Shaq Leonard.
According to multiple reports, the former Pro Bowl and All-Pro linebacker was released on Monday. Colts’ owner Jim Irsay confirmed the roster move in a post to X, formerly known as Twitter, Tuesday afternoon.
“Colts Nation will always remember The Maniac’s palpable energy on the field with each tackle, interception, punchout, and fumble recovery,” Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay said of Leonard. “Off the field, he’s a servant leader and assisted numerous families in both his hometown and the Indianapolis community. We’re thankful for Shaq and the contributions he made to our organization. We wish him and his beautiful family the best moving forward.”
Leonard was drafted by the Colts in 2018. He had totaled just 34 tackles in nine games in 2023.
Before he was waived, much had been made of Leonard’s performance and the number of snaps he played this season.
“Shaq is the ultimate competitor and has been a fan favorite since he arrived as a rookie in 2018,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in a release. “We are incredibly grateful for his contributions to the team and the city of Indianapolis over the last six seasons. We wish him the best and he will always be a valued member of the Horseshoe.”
Colts coach Shane Steichen, who only worked with Leonard during the 2023 season, said he is appreciative of the contributions the linebacker during his time in the Circle City.
“I’m thankful for the energy Shaq brought to our team on a daily basis,” Steichen said in a release. “He’s a competitor, a leader, and is respected among his teammates. I wish him all the best.”
Leonard released a statement of his own on social media, thanking the city of Indianapolis for its support.
“Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms,” Leonard wrote. “These past six years has been nothing but incredible! Through the good times and the bad times, y’all stood by my side. I apologize for not bringing that trophy back to the 317.
“The energy in Lucas Oil has been nothing but amazing, and I thank you for every memory. I’m thankful to play for such an amazing fan base. I love you guys and wish the Colts nothing but the best. Maniac out.”