Former University of Northern Iowa linebacker L.J. Fort signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns on Monday.

UNI originally announced Fort would accept an invitation to rookie camp with the New Orleans Saints.

Fort was the runner-up for the 2011 Buck Buchanan Award as a senior, finishing the season as the FCS national leader in total tackles (184) and tackles per game (14.15), which are both UNI single-season records.

Fort, who ranks fifth in UNI history with 356 career stops, was the Missouri Valley Conference's defensive player of the year.