Eagles

Eagles sign backup linebacker L.J. Fort

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Eagles sign backup linebacker L.J. Fort

The Eagles signed seven-year veteran LB L.J. Fort to a three-year, $5.6 million contract, a league source said Thursday morning.

Fort has played for the Browns, Bengals, Seahawks and Steelers, mainly as a backup and special teamer.

Fort’s base salary is fully guaranteed in 2019. The total guarantee on the deal is $1.9 million. 

He’s been with Pittsburgh the last four years and since 2016 played in 60 of a possible 64 games, including two starts last year. He has three career sacks. In 2018, Fort played 305 defensive snaps (29.2 percent) with the Steelers. 

The nature of Fort’s deal indicates that the Eagles will likely keep him as a reserve linebacker and special teamer.

The contract includes an $875,000 signing bonus and base salaries of $1.025 million this year and $1.5 million in each of the next two years. It also includes $600,000 in roster bonuses - $100,000 this year and $250,000 the next two years in the form of weekly roster bonuses.

Fort made the Browns in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa and played in 16 games with one start. He was in camp with the Broncos in 2013 and then had brief stints with the Bengals and Seahawks in 2014 before settling in with the Steelers the last four seasons.

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Source: Eagles moving on from linebacker Nigel Bradham

Source: Eagles moving on from linebacker Nigel Bradham

It appears the Eagles are moving on from veteran linebacker Nigel Bradham. 

Bradham, 30, has been with the Eagles since 2016 but it seemed highly unlikely he would be back in 2020, at least under his current contract. 

The Eagles have declined his option, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN first reported the move. 

This move will save the Eagles around $4.5 million in cap space for the upcoming season. Bradham had a team option on his current contract that would have paid him an $8 million base salary in 2020. Bradham is now a free agent.  

There’s a possibility Bradham could return on a cheaper deal but he’ll obviously want to test the free agent market first, a source said. 

At the end of the 2019 season, I spoke to Bradham about his desire to return to Philly and he expressed that he wouldn’t rule out a possible pay cut. 

“It depends on what’s right,” Bradham said in January. “Obviously, I feel like I’m going into a good situation. I just take it from there. I don’t really have a say on what should be done or what should not be done.”

But the Eagles want to get younger and paying an aging linebacker just isn’t their style. 

While Bradham never grew into a Pro Bowl player in Philly, he was a consistent player at linebacker and perhaps knows Jim Schwartz’s defense better than anybody, having played in it in 2014 in Buffalo and then from 2016-19 with the Eagles. That knowledge of the defense allowed the Eagles to use him at several different positions. 

Bradham was a key member of the Super Bowl team but the Eagles can’t keep players for sentimental reasons. 

And during his years with the Eagles, he’s also had his fair share of off-the-field incidents. But his production on the field has helped the Eagles tolerate those incidents. Since his arrival, Bradham leads the team in combined tackles with 348. He also has 21 TFLs, five sacks and 11 QB hits.

But now, for another year, the Eagles are again light at linebacker. They still have Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley and Alex Singleton under contract but that likely won’t be enough. They will likely need to reconstruct the position again this offseason. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Nigel Bradham’s option declined

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Eagle Eye podcast: Nigel Bradham’s option declined

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to the Nigel Bradham news. 

The guys try to figure if it would make sense for the Eagles to trade for Darius Slay. 

Exploring Howie Roseman’s hit rate on Day 1 and Day 2 aside from two specific positions. Ranking every one of Howie’s draft picks by round. 

• Moving on from Nigel Bradham 
• Would you trade for Darius Slay?
• Never rule out a trade with Howie 
• Top of the draft hit rate 
• Rankings Roseman’s draft picks by round
• Dave is back from Argentina 

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