LB Shaquille Leonard signs one-year deal with the Eagles

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) gets introduced before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

The Philadelphia Eagles may have lost — badly — in their game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but that 42-19 drubbing helped the Eagles win the Shaquille Leonard sweepstakes.

On Monday afternoon, Philadelphia announced that it signed the former All-Pro linebacker to a one-year deal.

The former Indianapolis Colts standout was deciding between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, making visits to both teams over the last week.

After watching the way Eagles linebackers faired against the second-best team in the conference, Leonard steps into a linebacker room desperate for help.

Nakobe Dean (foot) is on injured reserve and Zach Cunningham (hamstring) didn't play in Sunday’s contest either, which left Christian Elliss, Nicholas Morrow, and Ben VanSumeren to fend for themselves. It didn't go well at all, as each 49ers skill player had their turn making the group look silly.

Receiver Deebo Samuel scored a touchdown after Morrow missed a tackle, while running back Christian McCaffrey and tight end George Kittle also accounted for big plays with Morrow as the closest defender.

Leonard, a three-time, first-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler, was released by the Colts in November.

After two back surgeries in 2022, Leonard was struggling to recapture his old form. Initially, the Colts coaching staff explained they were benching the 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he'd do work on the practice squad.

A day later, the brass changed its mind and released the linebacker.

"It was the biggest surprise ever," Leonard told ESPN. "It was shocking."

In half a season, Leonard accumulated 65 tackles in nine games.

He now joins a 10-2 Eagles team that has visions of returning to the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons. Philadelphia's next game is a massive Sunday night contest against the Dallas Cowboys (9-3) that will not only impact standings in the NFC East but also in the larger NFC playoff picture.