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Khairi Fortt Hoping To Make Redskins His Long-Term Home

Posted Apr 18, 2017

Despite not appearing in regular season action over the last two years, Redskins linebacker Khairi Fortt wants to use another NFL opportunity to stick in one place for a few years.

Despite not appearing in regular season action over the last two years, Redskins linebacker Khairi Fortt wants to use another NFL opportunity to stick in one place for a few years.

After spending the last two seasons of NFL action without a regular season appearance, Washington Redskins linebacker Khairi Fortt is hoping that his return to his hometown lasts for a long time.

Fortt was a fourth-round pick for the New Orleans Saints in the 2014 NFL Draft.

His time in New Orleans, though, was short lived as he was waived five months after being drafted. The 6-foot-2, 240 pounder then had brief stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks over the next two years but wasn't on the field when the games counted. 

So with another chance as securing a spot on an NFL roster, Fortt plans to make the most of his time in Washington.

“My story has kind of been up and down as far as getting drafted in the fourth round to the Saints,” Fortt said. “Being a high pick then getting cut and then going through different teams and then not playing for a whole year. I think there was a lot of learning experiences, especially now compared to after the draft, I was 21 now I’m 25 and you just kind of learn.”

Without an NFL home from last July through January of this year before signing with the Redskins, Fortt’s mindset about football changed a little bit.  

“This whole game is not only just a game but it’s a profession,” Fortt said. “Now that I have kind of changed my mind to treating myself and treating this opportunity as a professional. You start to change. I have seen things change recently with my mindset of being here and I am glad to be back here because I was born in D.C.”

Learning From A Former Redskins Pro Bowler
Fortt started his college career at Penn State as he looked to follow the footsteps of past great Nittany Lion linebackers.

It was there -- as a 17-year-old freshman during Penn State’s 2010 spring game -- that he met LaVar Arrington. Arrington gravitated towards Fortt the moment he saw him on the field.

“I don’t know if he saw my style of play in my first spring game, I graduated high school early so I played that spring game when I was 17,” Fortt said. “I don’t know if he saw that I was sideline-to-sideline, but I actually had the No. 39 at first then he told them to give me No. 11. That’s what kind of started that relationship.”

Fortt was only the second Penn State linebacker to wear No. 11 after Arrington – who was a two-time first-team All-American before being drafted by the Redskins with the second-overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.

The other was four-time first-team All-Pro Navarro Bowman, who played in Happy Valley just before Fortt arrived.

“That is how that relationship started,” Fortt said of his friendship with Arrington. “We have been talking and he has been telling me the tricks of the trade.”

Portraying Sean Taylor Is An Honor
Fortt will be playing former Redskins safety Sean Taylor in “The Perfect Murder” on the Investigation Discovery Channel later this year.

The documentary will show how police solved the murder of Taylor during a home invasion in 2007, using real-life interviews with family members along with scenes depicting the tragic events that took place nearly 10 years ago.

Fortt auditioned for the part last August and hopes the documentary properly lays out just what kind of person Taylor was beyond the gridiron.

“Someone said he had the most personal fouls or he was a thug. The people who know him well and the people who are close with him, especially his teammates, family and friends, knew that he wasn’t that type of guy,” Fortt said. “He was a very passionate player and that’s what made him great but him being a thug and a hothead that couldn’t control himself is not the person he was. A message from the documentary is shedding light on him. I’m happy to be helping put that image and statement out there.

“I wasn’t fortunate enough to talk or speak with the family, but just from speaking with Lavar and hearing that he was just a great guy. I know the Redskins Nation will forever miss him.” 

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