The Washington Post

London Fletcher leaves door open to ‘maybe’ playing again for ‘right opportunity’

Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher reiterated Thursday he’s “99 percent” certain that he will retire after this season. He added that it “just feels like it’s the right time” for him to walk away from the sport after 16 NFL seasons.

But Fletcher also said the slight chance that he will play again could include playing less than a full season for a team that presents him with “the right opportunity.”

The Redskins were unable to hang on to a victory in what is likely to be London Fletcher’s final game at FedEx Field. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Redskins’ season finale Sunday against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands would be Fletcher’s final NFL game if he sticks to his plan to retire.

“Like I said, it’s 99 percent…. We’ll see, man,” he said in the locker room at Redskins Park after Thursday’s practice. “I’ve had a great career, 16 years. I’ve got no regrets. The likelihood—it’s highly unlikely I’ll play another 16 games somewhere. That ain’t happening. But if it’s a team maybe 10, eight ballgames left, six ballgames left and it’s the right opportunity, maybe. But I’m happy with the way my career has gone.”

Pressed on the circumstances under which he would consider playing again, Fletcher said: “We’ll see what happens. Again, the way everything kind of transpired the other day at FedEx, the way the fans treated me, it’d be extremely difficult to do it again. Even though it was a loss, I’m not looking at it from a loss standpoint. I’m just looking at it from the way I’ve been treated by the fans and everybody who’s come out and said different things, congratulated me when I announced it was very likely, more than likely was gonna be it. It just feels like it’s the right time.”

Fletcher announced last week that he was likely to retire after the season. He played what would be his final home game for the Redskins in last Sunday’s defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. He is eligible for free agency after the season.

“It ended up being a pretty tough week for me last week just finally announcing that, knowing that was gonna be the last time suiting up in FedEx,” he said. “So this week will be easier. I can’t imagine it being more difficult…. I don’t think so. Maybe. Maybe a little bit. But we’ll see. I know last week was pretty tough.”

Fletcher was one of the last players to leave the field last Sunday, waving to the fans as he exited.

“Just disappointed in the loss,” he said, “but [he] still kind of wanted to bask in everything that was going on as far at me playing as a Redskin at FedEx.”


Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.



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Mark Maske · December 26, 2013