This could be a drainage problem and the plant is showing the stress caused, by browning off or dying leaves.
The soil surrounding the plant either has very poor drainage or could be a dense, non-porous clay. The plants root system needs to be carefully examined for any signs of root rot. This involves turning the plant out, if in a pot or digging the plant carefully out of the ground with minimal root disturbance.
The rotted roots will show themselves as collapsed/hollow or dark brown in colour as opposed to a healthy, whitish light brown. The plant needs to have all rotted material cut off with a sharp knife then the exposed area needs to be dusted with a fungal powder.
The poor drainage needs to be addressed prior to the cycad being re-potted or planted again.