L.J. Fort

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/15

Today’s minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Patriots announced that they have released running back Joey Iosefa. Iosefa lasted only two weeks on the club’s active roster. He saw 14 carries against the Titans in Week 15 and ran for only 51 yards. His spot has ostensibly been usurped by the recently-added Steven Jackson.
  • The Giants announced that they have placed 2014 fifth-rounder Devon Kennard on injured reserve. Kennard, who also missed four games last season, has 58 tackles to his credit for Big Blue.
  • The Steelers placed fullback Roosevelt Nix on injured reserve, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets. The Steelers also announced that they have promoted linebacker L.J. Fort to the active roster.
  • The Bills placed Marcus Easley on IR, as Wilson tweets. Back in March of 2015, the special teamer inked a four-year pact worth $7MM with the Bills. A sizable chunk of that money – $2.2MM – was guaranteed.
  • Texans cornerback Charles James will be placed on injured reserve after suffering a season-ending foot injury, Wilson tweets.
  • The Chargers announced that they have claimed tight end Asante Cleveland off waivers from the Patriots.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

(press release)

  • Removed from IR list:
    • WR Onterio McCalebb
  • Signed to practice squad:
    • T Dan France
    • CB Troy Hill
    • G Trey Hopkins
    • WR Jake Kumerow
    • TE Matt Lengel
    • LB Trevor Roach
    • RB Terrell Watson
    • QB Keith Wenning
    • RB James Wilder Jr.
    • DT DeShawn Williams

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

(press release)

  • Signed:
    • RB Jordan Todman
  • Claimed off waivers:
    • DT Caushaud Lyons
  • Cut:
    • LB Anthony Chickillo
    • CB Doran Grant
  • Signed to practice squad:
    • RB Dominique Brown
    • DB Jordan Dangerfield
    • OL Reese Dismukes
    • LB L.J. Fort
    • LB Shayon Green
    • DE Ethan Hemer
    • OL Antonio Johnson
    • WR Shakim Phillips
    • TE Harold Spears
    • WR Jarrod West
    • OL Matt Feiler (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson)

Steelers Trim Roster To 53 Players

The Steelers have become the NFL’s first team to formally announce its roster moves to get down to 53 players in advance of this afternoon’s deadline. According to a team release, Pittsburgh has made the following moves:

Cut:

  • RB Jawon Chisholm
  • DL Matt Conrath
  • S Jordan Dangerfield
  • S Alden Darby
  • OL Reese Dismukes
  • OL B.J. Finney
  • CB Kevin Fogg
  • LB L.J. Fort
  • LB Shayon Green
  • RB Josh Harris
  • DL Ethan Hemer
  • S Gerod Holliman
  • LB Howard Jones
  • OL Doug Legursky
  • WR Shakim Phillips
  • DL Mike Thornton
  • CB B.W. Webb
  • WR Jarrod West

Waived/injured:

  • OL Kelvin Palmer
  • OL Mitchell Van Dyk

Those 20 cuts would get the Steelers down to 54 players from 75, since the team also traded punter Brad Wing yesterday. The club has also officially signed cornerback Ross Cockrell, bringing the roster count to 55. The final two moves will be to add running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the reserve/suspended list to start the year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/19/15

Here are Wednesday minor NFL signings, cuts, and other moves from around the NFL:

  • When word broke earlier today that the Texans had signed safety Quintin Demps and defensive lineman Fili Moala, I noted that two corresponding roster moves would be required. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle has the details on those moves, reporting (via Twitter) that the team has waived defensive end Jasper Coleman and waived/injured tight end Mike McFarland. McFarland will land on the Texans’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers.
  • After releasing him earlier this week, the Saints have re-signed veteran tight end Alex Smith, placing tight end Kevin Brock on injured reserve, writes Nick Underhill of The Advocate. Brock had to be carted off the field after going down with an injury during Tuesday’s practice.
  • Former Georgia wide receiver Michael Bennett – not to be confused with the Michael Bennetts who played on the defensive line at Texas A&M or Ohio State, respectively – signed a contract with the Bengals today, according to the team (Twitter link). Cincinnati cut tight end Jake Murphy to create roster space for the addition.
  • The Steelers have claimed linebacker L.J. Fort off waivers from the Patriots, waiving linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, a 2014 sixth-round pick, with an injury designation, the team announced today (via Twitter).
  • The Chargers have also claimed a former Patriot, nabbing tight end Logan Stokes off waivers, according to a team release. Tight end Eric Frohnapfel was cut to create a spot for Stokes.
  • Washington has reached an injury settlement with outside linebacker Trevardo Williams, who landed on the team’s IR with a hamstring strain, tweets Zac Boyer of the Washington Times. Williams is now a free agent, able to sign with any team.