L.J. Fort

Ravens, L.J. Fort Agree To Extension

The Ravens have signed linebacker L.J. Fort to a two-year extension, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The new deal will pay him $5.5MM in total with $3.25MM fully guaranteed at signing.

The pact more or less came out of the blue. Fort was released by the Eagles just five weeks ago and still has $1.9MM guaranteed remaining on his contract for 2019. Now, he has an early payday and a contract to take him through the 2021 season.

Fort earned solid grades for his work with the Steelers from 2015-2018, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. This year, he saw no defensive snaps for the Eagles, but he’s made frequent appearances for the Ravens in recent weeks. In the club’s Week 7 win over the Seahawks, Fort was on the field for 77% of the snaps and he rewarded their confidence in him by registering his first sack of the season.

Next up for Fort and the Ravens – a Sunday showdown with the 0-8 Bengals. In between now and then, he might wind up buying dinner for his teammates.

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Ravens Sign LB L.J. Fort

The Ravens have signed linebacker L.J. Fort, according to a club announcement. The team met with Fort on Saturday and inked him to a deal less than 24 hours after their poor defensive showing against the Browns. 

Fort spent 2015-2018 with the Steelers, so the Ravens are plenty familiar with what he has to offer. This year, he signed a three-year, $5.5MM deal with the Eagles, but he was displaced after Avonte Maddox‘s injury necessitated the signing of veteran Orlando Scandrick.

The Eagles were thought to be eyeing a quick reunion, but the Ravens have spoiled those plans. The Ravens placed ‘backer Otaro Alaka on IR on Saturday, so Fort will be brought in to fortify the LB group. With Alaka off the 53-man roster, the club will not have to make a corresponding move for his arrival.

Fort earned solid grades for his work with the Steelers, per PFF’s advanced metrics. He’ll be eligible to play against his former squad on Sunday when Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh.

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Ravens Host LB L.J. Fort On Visit

L.J. Fort may not be returning to the Eagles once their cornerback situation stabilizes. Released on Friday to accommodate an Eagles corner move, Fort has surfaced in the mid-Atlantic region.

The Ravens are hosting the now-free agent linebacker, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Fort spent much of his career with the Ravens’ top rival, having played from 2015-18 with the Steelers.

Philadelphia signed Fort to a three-year, $5.5MM deal earlier this year but saw another of its corners, Avonte Maddox, go down in a scary sequence Thursday night. The Eagles then cut Fort and signed Orlando Scandrick. The Ravens have an opening at linebacker, having placed Otaro Alaka on IR earlier Saturday.

Fort did not play any defensive snaps for the Eagles but did see special teams action in all four games. The former UDFA graded well with the Steelers in 2018. The 29-year-old off-ball ‘backer also played for the Browns and Bengals earlier in his career. He could be on the verge of being the rare NFLer to complete a division cycle.

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Eagles Release LB L.J. Fort

To make room for Orlando Scandrick‘s return, the Eagles released L.J. Fort. The former Steelers linebacker signed a three-year deal with the Eagles earlier this offseason.

The Eagles gave Fort a three-year, $5.5MM contract. They will have to eat a low-seven-figure dead-money hit, but a need at cornerback looks to have superseded any financial issues. Philadelphia entered its Week 4 game without Ronald Darby, and Avonte Maddox is out for an undetermined amount of time because of the scary head and neck injuries he suffered in the fourth quarter.

Fort did not play any defensive snaps for the Eagles but did see special teams action in all four games. The former UDFA graded well with the Steelers in 2018, leading to the modest Eagles pact. It’s certainly possible he could return once the Eagles’ cornerback issues are sorted out, but for the time being, the vested veteran will return to free agency.

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Eagles To Sign L.J. Fort

Steelers inside linebacker L.J. Fort has agreed to sign a three-year deal with the Eagles, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Fort can earn up to $10MM in the deal through playing time incentives and will receive a guarantee of $1.9MM. 

The Steelers made efforts to re-sign Fort, Fowler hears, but they were unable to retain him. Instead, he joins a revised front seven that added Malik Jackson after losing Michael Bennett via trade.

We heard as of yesterday that Pittsburgh was looking to re-sign Fort, but their efforts were unsuccessful and it sounds like the Eagles were able to beat their offer. Fort played in 15 games and made two starts last season, racking up 48 tackles, three for loss, and adding one sack.

Before settling in Pittsburgh for the last four seasons, Fort had bounced between Cleveland, Seattle, and Cincinnati, but had never been able to establish himself anywhere. It’s a significant chunk of change for a player who played less than 30% of the defensive snaps last season, but Fort is also a major contributor on special teams.

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Extra Points: WRs, Steelers, Edwards, Cook

Some assorted notes from around the NFL:

  • The Saints, Seahawks, and Patriots are continuing to monitor the wide receiver market, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Golden Tate is the best receiver still unsigned, but there are a number of other notable names available. New Orleans is reportedly interested in bringing back Dez Bryant, and veterans like Michael Crabtree and Randall Cobb still have some value.
  • The Steelers are working to re-sign linebacker L.J. Fort, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Fort was primarily deployed on passing downs in 2018 and was an underrated part of Pittsburgh’s defense last season, racking up 48 tackles and a sack. Fowler notes that Fort has generated interest from other clubs.
  • Defensive lineman Mario Edwards is set to visit with the Saints tonight, tweets Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. The 25-year-old was claimed off waivers by the Giants in September after having spent the first three seasons of his career with the Raiders. The former second-rounder proceeded to play in 15 games for the Giants, compiling 14 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble.
  • The Raiders continue to monitor free agent tight end Jared Cook, writes Scott Bair of NBCSports Bay Area. The writer cautions that it’s “hard to imagine” the veteran returning, as he’s visited with the Saints and received interest from the Patriots. The 31-year-old started 14 of his 16 games last season, hauling in 68 receptions for 896 yards and six scores.
  • Trent Brown isn’t all that concerned about his role with the Raiders, tweets Bair. After playing left tackle for the Patriots in 2018, Brown said he’d be receptive to a switch to right tackle. As of right now, Kolton Miller is expected to start on the opposite side of the offensive line.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/23/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jason Verrett‘s 2017 season ended up including just one game. The cornerback will undergo season-ending left knee surgery, and the Chargers placed the cornerback on IR Saturday. To make room on their 53-man roster, the Bolts signed linebacker Nick Dzubnar, Eric Williams of ESPN.com reports. Dzubnar played in 20 games for the Chargers over the past two seasons.
  • Steven Johnson‘s transaction-heavy month continued today when the Steelers cut the veteran linebacker and signed linebacker L.J. Fort, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. The Steelers made this reverse transaction last week, and Fort re-signed with Pittsburgh’s practice squad soon after. Johnson’s been involved in four September transactions. He figures to be a candidate to re-sign.
  • The Bears promoted linebacker John Timu from their practice squad and cut wide receiver Tre McBride, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Already down multiple key receivers, the Bears currently are carrying just four on their active roster.
  • The Titans also made a receiver transaction before their Week 3 game, swapping out pass-catchers. The team promoted wideout Darius Jennings from the practice squad and waived wideout Zach Pascal. Jennings has spent time with several teams prior to this promotion, but his most relevant work came in making 14 receptions for the 2015 Browns.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/13/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: CB Greg Mabin

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: WR Brian Brown
  • Released: S Jameill Showers

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: OT Storm Norton
  • Cut: DE Pat O’Connor

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: G Darrell Greene

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: CB Ryan Lewis

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/17

Today’s minor roster moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

  • Cut: CB LaDarius Gunter

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: ILB Steven Johnson
  • Cut: LB L.J. Fort

Steelers Activate Ladarius Green

3:09pm: Green has been elevated to Pittsburgh’s active roster, Mark Kaboly of DKPittsburghSports.com tweets. The Steelers cut outside linebacker L.J. Fort to make room. A five-year veteran, Fort played in seven games for the Steelers this season, making two tackles.

9:53am: It’s looking like tight end Ladarius Green will soon be making his Steelers debut. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter), the team is expected to activate the tight end from the PUP list. The reporter says that Green is expected to play in this weekend’s game against the Cowboys, but he notes that the decision will ultimately be up to coach Mike Tomlin.

The Steelers originally added Green this past offseason on a four-year, $20MM deal. The tight end was placed on the physically unable to perform list in late August as he recovered from his surgically-repaired ankle. The 26-year-old was also sidelined with lingering headaches, and this led to rumors that Green could consider retirement. Fortunately, the tight end seems to be doing better, as he’s been practicing with the Steelers since late October.

Green previously spent four seasons with the Chargers, where he served as a backup to Antonio Gates. Despite being second on the depth chart, the tight end still managed to haul in 77 receptions for 1,087 yards and seven touchdowns. 2015 was a career-year for Green, as the tight end caught 37 passes for 429 yards and four touchdowns.

With Green out, backup tight end Jesse James has stepped up. The second-year tight end has 24 receptions for 172 yards and three touchdowns this season. It’s unclear whether the Steelers will cut one of their other tight ends (Xavier Grimble, David Johnson) to make room for Green.

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