Monday, May 20, 2024

Colts make surprising decision, release Darius Leonard

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Indianapolis Colts have announced that they have released star linebacker Darius Shaquille Leonard on Tuesday. It was a surprising move.

The 28-year-old can sign with any team once he clears waivers. If he is claimed off waivers, his new team will be responsible for nearly $6 million in base salary.

Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard on the field in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders
Darius Leonard on the field in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Should he go unclaimed, Leonard has a guarantee in his contract where the new team would be responsible for a $6.5 million injury guarantee should he get hurt by the end of this season.

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“Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms,” Leonard said on X (formerly Twitter). “These past 6 years has been nothing but incredible! Through the good times and bad time, 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!”

Leonard was a second-round draft pick by the Colts during the 2018 NFL Draft. However, this season, he has been limited in playing time.

First-year Colts head coach Shane Steichen has not used Leonard much due to a back injury that resulted in surgery last November. He has been vocal about his diminished role.

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He thought he was going to ramp up to be a starter once again. However, that did not happen despite his nine starts.

“Colts Nation will always remember The Maniac’s palpable energy on the field with each tackle, interception, punchout, and fumble recovery,” Irsay said in a separate statement. “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.”

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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