L.J. Fort

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 4pm ET/3pm CT Tuesday to reach the 80-man roster limit.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts 

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OT Jonathan Hubbard
  • Released from IR via injury settlement: Sam Renner

Tennessee Titans

Ravens LB L.J. Fort Out For Season

11:25am: Fort did indeed tear his ACL, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (via Twitter). It is, of course, a season-ending injury, but as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, it was a clean tear and Fort sustained no other damage. As such, he should be ready to go come Week 1 of the 2022 season.

08:57am: The Ravens fear that linebacker L.J. Fort suffered a torn ACL in last night’s preseason contest against the Panthers, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets. Fort, who was signed early in the 2019 season to stabilize an LB corps that had struggled over the first few weeks of that campaign, had become a key piece of Baltimore’s defense and a valuable ST contributor.

In fact, the Ravens were so impressed with his performance that they handed him a two-year, $5.5MM extension a little over a month after they first plucked him off the street. In his 26 games (16 starts) in Baltimore, the 31-year-old has compiled 53 tackles (six TFL), two sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one defensive TD. His versatility and IQ are particularly valuable on defensive coordinator Wink Martindale‘s varied and complex attack.

Fort will undergo an MRI in short order, but head coach John Harbaugh offered a bleak assessment of the situation. “It does not look good,” Harbaugh said (Twitter link via Ryan Mink of the team’s official website).

The injury could open the door to more playing time for Kristian Welch, a 2020 UDFA who played almost exclusively on special teams last season. 2020 third-rounder Malik Harrison, who has played well this summer, was already expected to have a significant role alongside fellow second-year pro Patrick Queen, but his snap count could increase as well.

Baltimore could also be on the lookout for more experienced depth in the coming weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Re-Sign L.J. Fort

L.J. Fort isn’t going anywhere. The Ravens will be keeping the inside linebacker in the fold with a new contract, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets.

Financial terms weren’t immediately released, but Zrebiec reports it’s a one-year deal for Fort. Fort played a significant role in Baltimore’s defense last year, appearing in 14 games and starting eight. He finished with 53 tackles, two passes defended, and two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown) while playing less than half the snaps in a rotational role.

Fort has had an interesting career path, as he originally entered the league as an UDFA with the Browns back in 2012. He made the team and played in all 16 games for Cleveland as a rookie, then appeared in only one more regular season game after that until 2016.

After bouncing around a few practice squads he eventually found a home with the Steelers. He signed with the Ravens early in the 2019 season, and started eight games for them. He was handed a two-year, $5.5MM extension in November of that year, but at the beginning of 2020 the team declined his 2021 option which made him a free agent this spring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Activate 6 Players From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Ahead of a key AFC matchup against the Colts, the Ravens will have a handful of defenders back. They activated six players off their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.

Patrick Queen, DeShon Elliott and L.J. Fort are poised to return to Baltimore’s starting lineup after the team activated the defenders from the COVID list. Each was deemed a high-risk close contact to All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who tested positive for the coronavirus and remains on the COVID list.

Linebacker Tyus Bowser, cornerback Terrell Bonds and linebacker Malik Harrison also came off the Ravens’ COVID list Saturday. Matt Judon came off the list earlier this week.

Humphrey will miss Week 9’s Baltimore-Indianapolis game, but the Ravens having several of their starters back will put them in better position to bounce back after their loss to the Steelers. Baltimore’s defense ranks fifth in DVOA, sitting first against the run.

The Ravens promoted Bonds, a second-year player out of Tennessee State, and linebacker Kristian Welch to their active roster. They also promoted safety Geno Stone as Humphrey’s COVID replacement. They placed wide receiver Chris Moore on IR due to a thigh injury.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/20

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.