NFL CAREER – A versatile defender who has been a key contributor at both safety and on special teams, Leonhard joined the Saints as a free agent during the 2013 offseason. He brings a competitive attitude to the team that belies his roots as an undrafted free agent from the University of Wisconsin. The eight-year veteran has played in 110 career games (61 starts) and recorded 382 tackles, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 31 passes defensed. The Tony, Wisc. native has also been a standout on special teams, where he has posted 33 stops and one fumble recovery. Leonhard played in all 16 games (one start) in 2012 and tied a career-high with two interceptions and one special teams fumble recovery. He finished his college career with 281 tackles, 21 interceptions and as the Big Ten conference career leader in punt return yardage (1,347).
CAREER TRANSACTIONS – Agreed to terms with Saints on a one-year contract (UFA-DEN), 4/8/13; Signed by Denver Broncos to a one-year contract, 8/4/12; Placed on Injured Reserve by New York Jets, 12/12/11; Placed on Reserve/Injured by Jets, 12/4/10; Signed by Jets to a three-year contract (UFA-BAL), 3/3/09; Signed by Baltimore Ravens, 4/29/08; Re-signed by Buffalo, 9/13/06; Waived by Buffalo, 9/2/06; Signed by Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent, 4/29/05.
HONORS – 2011: USA Today All-Joe.
2012 – Appeared in all 16 regular season games for the third time in his career in 2012, opening one contest. Tied a career single-season best with two interceptions, in addition to 17 tackles (12 solo), three passes defensed and one stop and one fumble recovery on special teams. Returned a free kick following a safety 18 yards to mark his first kickoff return since 2009…Intercepted a Philip Rivers pass intended for Antonio Gates in the second quarter at San Diego, Oct. 15, in his 100th career game…Intercepted Rivers for the second time of the season in the fourth quarter vs. San Diego, Nov. 18…Made a special teams stop at Baltimore, Dec. 16…Registered two tackles in Denver’s AFC Divisional Playoff game vs. Baltimore, 1/12/13. 2011 – Started the first 13 games of the season for the Jets before missing the final three with an injury. Totaled 60 tackles, one interception, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery…Posted a season-high seven tackles vs. Miami, Oct. 17…Intercepted a pass vs. Kansas City in his last appearance of the season. 2010 – Started all 11 games in which he played for the Jets before being placed on Injured Reserve following a broken tibia suffered in practice on 12/4. Missed the final five regular season games and all three postseason contests. Finished the season with 66 tackles (47 solo), one interception, one fumble recovery and six passes defended. Returned 21 punts for 238 yards (11.3 avg.), the 10th best average in the league. Collected six special teams tackles…Recorded a season-high 10 tackles and one pass defensed in addition to returning two punts for 54 yards in the season opener against Baltimore, Sept. 13…Led the team with eight solo tackles at Cleveland, Nov. 14. 2009 – Opened all 16 games and served as the signal-caller for the Jets’ defense that led the NFL in 2009. Finished the season third on the team with 95 tackles and recorded 2.5 sacks, one interception, seven passes defended and one forced fumble. Ranked second on the squad with 22 tackles in the postseason. Added one sack, one interception, four pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in the postseason…Tied for the team lead with nine tackles vs. New England, Sept. 20….Tied for the team lead with 12 tackles, which marked a career-high at Miami, Oct. 12…Intercepted JaMarcus Russell and returned it a career-long 44 yards at Oakland, Oct. 25…Matched his career-high with 12 tackles at New England, Nov. 22…Strip-sacked J.T. O’Sullivan vs. Cincinnati, 1/3/10…Strip-sacked Carson Palmer in NFC Wild Card playoff matchup at Cincinnati, 1/9/10…Intercepted Rivers late in the third quarter to set up New York’s first touchdown and first lead in NFC Divisional Playoff game at San Diego, 1/17/10…Made eight stops with one pass defense and one fumble recovery in AFC Championship at Indianapolis, 1/24/10. 2008 – Appeared in all 16 games, with a then-career-high 13 starts for the Ravens defense that finished as the NFL’s second-ranked unit. Posted what was a career-high 85 tackles, his first career sack, six passes defended and one interception return for a TD. Entered the starting lineup after an injury sidelined starter Dawan Landry in Week two. Returned 20 punts for 232 yards and eight kickoffs for 163 yards. Started all three postseason games and finished third on the Ravens’ defense with 16 tackles, 0.5 sacks, one interception, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Recorded nine postseason punt returns for 115 yards…Recorded his first career sack, a loss of seven yards on Derek Anderson vs. Cleveland, Sept. 21…Led the secondary with nine solo tackles at Miami, Oct. 19, which represented a career-best…Set a career-long with a 46-yard punt return vs. Oakland, Oct. 26…Intercepted Jordan Palmer and returned it 35 yards for his first career touchdown at Cincinnati, Nov. 30…Recovered a fumble and forced a fumble in NFC Divisional Playoff matchup at Tennessee, 1/10/09. 2007 – Played 13 games with six starts. Recorded 51 tackles, including 40 solo, two interceptions, two passes defensed and five special teams tackles…Tied for the team lead with 11 tackles and intercepted Jay Cutler vs. Denver, Sept. 9…Posted seven tackles and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger at Pittsburgh, Oct. 16. 2006 – Appeared in 15 games, including his first-career start. Finished with six tackles (four solo) from scrimmage and nine special teams stops…Made his first career start and registered five tackles on defense and a stop on special teams at N.Y. Jets, Dec. 10. 2005 – Played in 10 games after making Bills roster as an undrafted free agent. Made four special teams tackles and two defensive stops…Made his first career defensive tackle vs. Carolina, Nov. 27.
COLLEGE – Leonhard appeared in 51 games with 39 starts during his four-year playing career at Wisconsin. Started every game his last three seasons and was a four-year letterman for the Badgers, finishing his career with 281 tackles, which ranked 21st in Badger history. Tied a school record with 21 interceptions that tied for fourth-most in Big Ten history. Ranked fourth in school annals with 50 pass breakups. Finished his career as the Big Ten career leader in punt-return yardage (1,347) on 105 punt returns, which ranked third in conference history. Became the fourth player in Wisconsin history with three career punt returns for touchdowns.
PERSONAL – Two-time first-team All-State selection at Flambeau (Tony, Wis.) HS…Served as team captain last two years…Finished career with 120 tackles and eight interceptions, earning team MVP as a senior.
New Orleans Saints safety Jim Leonhard intercepts Oakland Raiders QB Matthew McGloin and returns it for eleven yards.