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Steelers hoping to re-sign impending free agent linebacker L.J. Fort

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The emerging linebacker and special teams stalwart is a free agent the Steelers would like to keep in 2019.

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

While the Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert spent much of his time talking about Antonio Brown on Wednesday, there were still on or two new pieces of information revealed when reporters managed to ask about anything other than the team’s star receiver.

Among the obligatory questions about Brown, Rich Walsh of KDKA also asked Colbert about Pittsburgh’s plans for the inside linebacker position this offseason, with the general manager’s response giving fans a clear indication about the Steelers’ intentions for impending unrestricted free agent L.J. Fort. As he told Walsh.

“I think we’d like to complement the guys we have. You know we have a young man like L.J. Fort who’s an unrestricted free agent and we’d like to keep him in the mix.“

Playing primarily on passing downs at first, Fort became more involved on defense as the season wore on and was a key performer on special teams. Offering Pittsburgh the range in coverage that options like Jon Bostic lacked, Fort has come a long way from the player who joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2015 after failing to latch on with five previous NFL teams.

First signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, Fort spent time with the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots before arriving in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers are the only team he has stayed with for more than one season.

Unlikely to command a high salary during free agency, Fort should still have his suitors on the open market. However, given the opportunities Pittsburgh could offer him compared to many other teams, the 29-year-old linebacker might find his best chance of being a starter is with the Steelers.

The full interview with KDKA can be seen here.