L.J. Fort 'riled up and excited about the defense'

Twenty-one. Thursday will mark the 21st time that linebacker L.J. Fort's name has appeared on the transactions list.

Seven. Philadelphia will be the seventh place where Fort has suited up in his NFL career after signing a three-year deal with the Eagles.

The difference this time is that Fort was a sought-after player after chipping in 48 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a sack in 15 games for the Steelers in his most extensive action on defense as a pro in 2018.

"It feels unbelievable. It's been a long time coming, that's for sure, going on my eighth year," Fort said after signing his deal. "Being a free agent and having multiple teams want me was definitely a satisfying feeling. I'm glad I ended up here."

A rookie free agent signing of the Browns in 2012 out of Northern Iowa, Fort started in his NFL debut, which coincidentally came against the Eagles, and picked off quarterback Michael Vick. Fort played in every game that season and the future looked bright.

However, Fort didn't make the team in 2013 and was out of the game. Fort ping-ponged around the league going from Denver to Seattle, where he moved to fullback, to Cincinnati to New England before being claimed by Pittsburgh in August 2015. He spent the past four seasons with the Steelers and 2018 proved to be his breakout year.

"You have to believe in yourself. If you know what you're capable of, then you just have to push through that and make it happen and don't worry what other people say," Fort said.

Fort's addition won't generate the headlines that other moves around the league are getting, but it's still an important one. Linebacker depth needed to be addressed with D.J. Alexander, Jordan Hicks, and LaRoy Reynolds all on the open market. Fort said his sideline-to-sideline range will fit in well with this defense.

"I'm all riled up and excited about the defense. I'm ready to go," Fort said.

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