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Indianapolis Colts release linebacker Shaq Leonard

Colts release star player Shaquille Leonard

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts have released former All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard.

In a post on X made Tuesday afternoon, Leonard expresses his gratitude for the city.

“Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms. These past 6 years has been nothing but incredible!” Leonard said in the post. “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.”

Leonard ended his tweet with an expression of love and wishing the Colts “nothing but the best!”

The four-time All-Pro was selected by the Colts in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, playing in 70 career games while earning the nickname, “The Maniac,” for his incredible ball-hawking ability. He was named the 2018 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Colts owner Jim Irsay also made an announcement on X. “Colts Nation will always remember The Maniac’s palpable energy on the field with each tackle, interception, punchout, and fumble recovery,” he said.

“We’re thankful for Shaq and the contributions he made to our organization. We wish him and his beautiful family the best moving forward,” Irsay concluded in his post.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard also released a statement following Leonard’s release.

“Shaq is the ultimate competitor and has been a fan favorite since he arrived as a rookie in 2018. 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.”

Leonard played in just three games in 2022 after undergoing a pair of surgeries to repair a nerve issue. He started nine of the team’s first 10 games this season before his release, but played significantly fewer snaps than in previous seasons.