Unfortunately, life comes at you fast in the NFL. One day, you are the Defensive Rookie of the Year and three first-team All-Pro honors in your first four seasons, and the next day you are on the brink of retirement at age 28.
Shaquille Leonard, who had an incredibly promising start to his career with three consecutive Pro Bowls, was never able to get right following his injuries. After multiple back surgeries and limited appearances, the Indianapolis Colts waived him in November. The Eagles signed him in December, and Leonard had his moments. In five games, he posted 23 tackles and a sack, doing reasonably well in Nicholas Morrow and Zach Cunningham's absences.
Yet, "reasonably well" might not be high enough of a bar for one of the most productive linebackers of the last five years.
After the loss to the Bucs, Leonard said he has a lot to think about this offseason and it will be a "tough discussion with himself." This could imply that he may be leaning towards retirement, but never rule out Leonard, who defied all odds throughout his career to become one of the best players in his position. Maybe he has another one in him to prove everyone wrong.
Whether that will be with the Eagles remains to be seen.