Shaquille Leonard would be a short-term solution for Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts v Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

It is rare for a former All-Pro player to be available at this point of the season but fortunately for the Buffalo Bills that is exactly the case. More importantly, he plays a position that is missing one of its key players and a leader for the defense.

On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts released linebacker Shaquille Leonard in what was certainly a surprising move. On Wednesday, he cleared waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team, including the Buffalo Bills.

The Colts drafted Leonard in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft and he made an impact almost immediately as he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year that season.

Leonard would go on to be named first-team All-Pro on three separate occassions and in his first four seasons he would have at least 120 total tackles. Unfortunately, injuries caught up to the linebacker and he played in only three games last season.

This year, Leonard was back as a starter and would start the nine games over the first 10 weeks of the season. However, that playing time was going to dramatically decrease to the point that defensive coordinator Gus Bradley told him this week he would be inactive for the remainder of the season.

Shaquille Leonard would be a great addition for the Buffalo Bills defense

While Leonard hasn't been at the All-Pro level he was earlier in his career, the reasoning for the benching and eventually release could have been just due to a fit within the scheme the Colts are running on defense now.

The Colts loss could be the Buffalo Bills gain as Leonard would be a great upgrade at linebacker and help solidify the linebacker position. The Bills lost Matt Milano in Week 5 and the linebacker is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to injury.

In the interim, the Bills have looked to Tyrel Dodson and Dorian Williams as replacements. While Dodson has played better, there is no denying the addition of Leonard would be an upgrade and be a good veteran to pair with Terrel Bernard.

It may take a few weeks for Leonard to get up to speed, but it addresses a big need for the Buffalo Bills and could be the move needed to get them through the season and give them the best chance to make the playoffs.