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Ravens decline to pick up LB L.J. Fort’s option

The veteran will test the market

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens are releasing veteran LB L.J Fort:

Baltimore will save $2.25 million in cap space by releasing Fort. The Ravens re-signed LB Chris Board yesterday to go with Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison who will be entering their second season in the NFL. This is a puzzling move, however, as Fort was the only veteran among the inside linebackers and was the most consistent player at the position for Baltimore last year.

Fort was also a key special teams player. For example, in Week 1 against the Browns, Fort sniffed out a fake punt, made the tackle on the punter, and forced a fumble in the process. Fort was the best coverage inside linebacker the Ravens had as well and was a playmaker as part of the rotation at the position. In Week 2 against the Texans, Fort recovered a fumble caused by CB Marlon Humphrey and returned it for a touchdown.

Fort was signed by Baltimore during the 2019 season and helped to shore up the inside linebacker position alongside fellow veteran Josh Bynes. During his stint with the Ravens, Fort has made 88 total tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, three quarterback hits, and one pass deflection.

As The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec insinuated, Fort will now test the market but could possibly return to Baltimore if the two sides can agree financially.