Browns Must Sign Recently Released 4-Time All-Pro Defender

After veteran linebacker Shaq Leonard was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, the Cleveland Browns must do what they can to sign him.
Shaq Leonard would be a great fit in the Browns' already-dominant defense.
Shaq Leonard would be a great fit in the Browns' already-dominant defense. / IndyStar-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cleveland Browns are experiencing one of their best campaigns in ages, sitting at a 7-3 record ahead of a Week 12 showdown with the Denver Broncos. A dominant defense has been the main reason why the Browns are among the AFC's best teams, but what if they had the opportunity to add another elite defender to the mix?

Well, it turns out they have the chance to do so following the latest news out of Indianapolis.

Browns Roster Rumors

On Tuesday, Shaq Leonard took to social media to say goodbye to Colts fans, announcing that he is leaving the team. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport later confirmed the four-time All-Pro's release.

The release isn't all that surprising given that the linebacker publicly made it clear that he wasn't happy with his snap count this season.

Nevertheless, with Leonard now the top free agent out there, it's a no-brainer for Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry to call the ex-Gamecock's agent.

Leonard hasn't been his usual dominant self this season, but that has a lot to do with a lack of playing time. He's only played 70% of snaps in his sixth NFL season compared to 93% or more in the first four. In fact, the Nichols, SC native has played 72% or fewer snaps in six of his last eight games.

Playing time wouldn't be an issue with the Browns, who could use another LB now that Anthony Walker is expected to be "week-to-week" with a hamstring injury. The 28-year-old defender has started in all 10 of Cleveland's games thus far.

Moving to a contender like Cleveland could also motivate Leonard to return to form. He's one of the best linebackers in the league when he's on his game, proven by his four All-Pro selections and three Pro Bowl appearances. That's without mentioning his 614 career tackles, 15 sacks, 17 forced fumbles and 12 interceptions.

It's easy to salivate at the idea of Leonard joining a defense that already boasts the likes of Myles Garrett, Maurice Hurst and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. A deal would also likely improve the Browns' Super Bowl LVIII odds, which rank 11th-best ahead of Week 12.

Think the Browns will go all the way this year? Make sure to back them at DraftKings Sportsbook. They're offering new users $150 in instant bonus bets for simply signing up through the link below and placing an initial wager of just $5. That's one heck of a deal, but it won't last long, so make sure you claim it now!

In other Browns news: