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Ravens cutting ties with L.J. Fort, could a Steelers reunion be in the works?

Could a return of L.J. Fort be just what the Steelers’ defense needs?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been spectators for much of free agency thus far. After the majority of two days, the Steelers have done little in terms of signing players. After all, with their limited resources, what could they possibly do?

One thing they did to create more cap space was cutting ILB Vince Williams. Letting Williams go saved the Steelers roughly $4 million dollars in salary cap space, but it also left a gaping hole at the position.

Devin Bush is expected to be fully recovered from his torn ACL, Robert Spillane signed his ERFA tender and the team will have Ulysees Gilbert III and Marcus Allen to help fill out the depth chart at ILB.

You aren’t alone if the above players don’t create a ton of confidence surrounding the future of the position. But could their be hope on the horizon in the form of a former Steelers special teams ace and ILB? It is a possibility.

The Baltimore Ravens have decided to cut L.J. Fort, making Fort a free agent and open to the highest bidder. Fort was due $2.25 million, and the Ravens wanted to create more space by letting him go.

This per Jeff Zrebiec and Josina Anderson:

Fort, who was drafted in 2012 by the Cleveland Browns, spent time with the Browns, Bengals and Seahawks before landing with the Steelers in 2015. Fort four seasons in Pittsburgh before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in Free Agency. When the Eagles cut Fort in the middle of the season, the Ravens seized the opportunity and signed Fort.

Baltimore was Fort’s home for the past two seasons, and in 2020 he put up the following stats for the Ravens:

Games: 14 (8 starts)
Total Tackles: 53
Sacks: 0
TFL: 2
Pass Defenses: 2
TD: 0
INT: 0

Not eye-popping stats, but for a rotational linebacker who is used in sub packages for his athleticism he could be just what the Steelers need at the ILB position.

You wouldn’t expect Fort to cost too much on the open market, and he might be willing to take less to return to a franchise he is both familiar and comfortable with. If Fort did return to Pittsburgh, the Steelers’ ILB depth would improve immediately, not to mention their Special Teams units.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they meander their way through free agency and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.