OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens were ecstatic when linebacker L.J. Fort became available in October 2019.
The Eagles were forced to release Fort because they needed to add depth at cornerback and wanted to retain a conditional draft pick for the following season.
The Ravens pounced when Fort hit the open market and he's been a key playmaker since the day they signed him.
"I feel like this is the perfect system you want to be in," said Fort, who originally signed with the Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012. "There’s not a ton of thinking, and you can be aggressive and play fast. And then, when you have a D-line [defensive line] like we have in front of you, it makes things a lot easier for you, so you have room to make plays and do things like that.
"Being it’s my second year in the system, I feel way more comfortable. Week-to-week, our coaches do an amazing job of making sure we’re prepared. I feel like we’re the most prepared team in the league every week.”
After signing to the Ravens’53-man roster in Week 5, Fort recorded 26 tackles, 2 sacks (-12yards) and one pass defended, helping Baltimore’s defense rank No. 3 in points (17.6) and No. 4 in yards (300.6) allowed per game
Over two games this season, Fort has six tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown Week 2 against the Texans.
After a journeyman career where he also spent time with the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots,
"I’ve been on like seven or eight teams, and it’s been a grind," Fort said. "And when you’re on ‘P-squad’ [practice squad], and you’re getting cut multiple times, there’s always doubt in your mind if you’ll be able to find a home.
"But I just kept sticking to it, working hard, and fortunately, found a home here in Baltimore, and I’m loving it.”