Leonhard has been with the Jets since 2009, having followed head coach Rex Ryan from Baltimore. The safety was the classic "locker room leader" type of player. Despite his presence with the team, Leonard landed on injured reserve after tearing his right patella tendon in his knee.
New York signed free agents Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry to shore up the safety position during the offseason. They also drafted a pair of rookie safeties this year, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen.
For his part, Leonhard felt like he was ready to go for the 2012 season, sounding a positive note that he could latch on elsewhere.