London Fletcher uncertain about his future


London Fletcher (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

After the Redskins 24-14 season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks, linebacker London Fletcher said he is uncertain about his future, and will take time to evaluate  before deciding whether to return for a 16th NFL season.

Fletcher, 37, is the third-oldest player in the NFL, but continues to play well. He remains under contract after re-signing with Washington last spring. However, he addressed the entire Redskins team in the locker room, and some of his teammates wondered if Sunday’s game was the his last.

“You could tell he was really sad, upset,” fellow linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “We’re real close so it was real heartfelt for me, that this run that we had was kind of second to a Super Bowl win with what this team was able to do with him leading it. With that, is he coming back? Is he not? It’s that kind of sentiment, because you get close to guys and you never want to see them go away because that’s what you really miss.”

Fletcher  battled through an ankle sprain that kept him from practicing much of the season. But his production on game days didn’t wane. In fact, Fletcher seemed to get better as the season progressed. In five December games, he recorded  51 tackles, four pass breakups, three interceptions and two sacks.

On Sunday against Seattle, Fletcher had a team-high 15 tackles, half a sack and a pass deflection. During the regular season Fletcher recorded 139 tackles, three sacks, 11 pass deflections and a career-high five interceptions.

He said while addressing the media that the Redskins’ seven-game win streak, which allowed them to take the NFC East title and advance to the playoffs was one of the top moments of his career.

“I’m so proud of this team,” Fletcher said. “Besides winning the Super Bowl [XXXIV with the Rams], this is the best feeling I’ve had around a football team. It all starts with our head coach, Coach Shanahan. He’s the leader, he laid the blueprint for us on this run, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he was able to do.”

Fletcher had said at the end of last season that he wanted to re-sign with the Redskins as a free agent to help turn the franchise around rather than jump ship for a winning franchise. He achieved his goal of helping Washington to its first winning season since 2007 and first divisional title since 1999.

“I’ll take some time to let the emotions of the season kind of get away, refresh a little bit and then sit down with my family and make the decision from there as far as whether I’ll continue to play or not, he said Sunday.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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Mike Jones · January 6, 2013