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Fletcher: I Have Another Three-Four Years

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 19, 2012 – 3:32 pm

AP Image

As holes continue to be filled with free agency signings here at Redskins Park, the murmur from the fans continues to revolve around the status of free agent linebacker London Fletcher.

When Fletcher first signed in Washington five years ago, he was widely believed to be making the final stop of his dazzling career, and would surely be retired by time his contract expired at age 36.  But in that span of time, Fletcher has switched from the middle linebacker to a 3-4 inside linebacker, and raised his level of play to epic proportions.

Fletcher is a fan favorite, and rightly so.  With his style of play and work ethic, he’s a natural leader, and rightly so.  He deserves to sign what is presumably his final contract at a fair market rate, and rightly so.

But how is a team, player or agent supposed to gauge a fair market contract for a 36-year-old who led the league in tackles?  Fortunately, that answer is way out of my department, but there has been mutual interest expressed in a reunion.

Fletcher recently sat down with the NFL.com’s Rich Eisen Podcast to discuss, among other things, his current free agent status.  If anyone is worried about Fletcher running low on drive or desire, have a gander at these quotes:

Physically, I can do this for another three-to-four years.  That’s just how I feel, that’s just I’m wired.  I love being out there on Sundays, I love being in there with my teammates and the preparation that goes into competing on Sundays.  Y’know, the studying, getting your body right–I love that part of it.

There’s nowhere else that you can get that type of competition.  There are other places you can go to make money, but the camaraderie that the locker room builds, that unity that you have with a group, being out there in front of 80,000-90,000 fans; there’s no other place that you can get that.

This interview was conducted several days before the start of free agency, and Fletcher reiterated that he would be open to offers from other teams if he made it to free agency.  He did point out, however, that the door to Washington was still wide open:

No that’s not a closed door at all.  I would love to go back to Washington.

Eisen compared Fletcher’s numbers to the other iconic linebacker of this generation, in the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis.  Since Fletcher entered the league in 1998, the two have posted nearly identical numbers, with Fletcher gaining the edge in some important categories:

Eisen: “Since coming into the league in 1998, you have 80 more tackles than Ray, the same number of sacks, one more forced fumble, he has a few more picks than you, and you’ve got him by a safety.  And that is a future, first-ballot, lock Hall of Famer.”

Fletcher: 1,546 tackles, 34 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, 18 interceptions, safety, 208 games started
Lewis: 1,466 tackles, 34 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 29 interceptions, 192 games started.

Granted, Lewis has been playing for two years longer, but these are clearly two players born of a like-mind, and having very special careers at the linebacker position.

If things work out with the Redskins, they’ll continue their respective careers separated by 40 miles on I-95.


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Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Fletcher: I Have Another Three-Four Years”

  1. By John on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    Resign him….. NOW!!!!

  2. By 007 on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    JOHN:

    Re-sign him at what price, 5 million with no raise? For how long, another three? You do know he wants four, and five if he can get it for a little less each year. How much bonus money? He’ll be 37 in the fall. A contract until he’s 42? unthinkable, 41 LOL!; 40 possibly; 39 yes.

  3. By 007 on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    STEPHEN TULLOCH is sitting there for maybe the same basic money. Give the 26 year-old the five year deal at a slightly higher 6 per year and a hefty bonus. Is he as good as FLETCH, overall maybe. In some ways prolly not, but in pass protection, prolly better.

  4. By Shane on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    What is taking them so long. This guy need to go into the Hall with a Redskins helmet. Sign him already!

  5. By Greg Johnston on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    Sign London to a 3 year deal with the last being a roster deal, if he can not make the roster he gets no $ . Plus make incentives for amount played, so if he does well he gets paid . It is either that or spend the rest of your $$ on one of the top 2 guys at his position and be done with it. They are going to have to find guards and a tackle in the draft. the 2nd team did well at the end of last yr as a whole group. We coould certainly plug holes for a yr, that and there is always cuts during pre season.

  6. By poppyshoes on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    Seriously….this is getting old. I know they are waiting on other LB’s to move to set a scale, but this is ridiculous! If ever there was a player you don’t let walk away. IT’S HIM! Why let a sure playmaker go for a ahhh…not so much? I watched the rams/titans superbowl this pass weekend, and his game doesn’t look any different to me, still the same, even Ray looks a step slower. Bmore will never part with him. Nice stats though.

    GET IT DONE ALREADY!

  7. By chad on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    lol after reading some comments im still trying to figure out what the hell is a “prolly”……wow

  8. By chad on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    guys relax….im not sure how long some of you have been watching football but jezz…..

    this is exactly what teams do with older players. remember a few years ago ray lewis contract was up… the ravens waited for the FA market to open to guage his worth (just like the redskins are doing now)..he even visited with another team ( bengals?). once his value was set they nego. a contract with him. same situation here with london. let the market set the value….factor his age in and the will offer a fair MARKET value contract for him. he wont get a TEAM value …..no need to cry until he actually does sign with someone else…if he visits another team its so he can bring it back to the redskins to match it thereabouts…. just relax….this happens ALL THE TIME with older players….been seeing this for over 20 years…havent changed.

  9. By DRDEATH420 on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    If I were the skins i’d resign him but if I were him i’d sign in Denver & try for more rings lol
    ?.

  10. By Ricky James on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    why not try to sign both fletcher and tulloch so that we can have a run stuffing linebacker and a coverage linebacker. also the plus of having tulloch is that we can have a middle linebacker who has yet to hit his prime and did a great job in detroit this past season

  11. By Brian Tinsman on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    @chad–

    Well said, sir. I think the two situations with Fletcher and Lewis are almost identical, that’s why it’s a good parallel.

  12. By Willie on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    If the Redskins was courting a free agent LB like Ray Lewis, they would be treating him to the finest steak at Morton’s, throwing out $$’s to make him among the highest paid LB in the NFL…yet, London is being treated like he should be lucky to even be at the negotiation table…London Fletcher, who has endured all the ups and downs (well, 99% downs) here with nothing but class, leadership, and community service…London Fletcher, who is consistently looked over for NFL accolades because he plays for the dysfunctional Redskins…HE, of all the Redskins and free agents, deserves the love, respect, and gratitude from the Redskins front office, and should have been signed already! Stop f’iing around!!

  13. By Curt on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    The Redskins have obviously made the decision to go “younger”. I can appreciate that; however, proven veteran leadership is hard to find. I think the past has shown how picking up other teams “stars” has worked out. Granted, Fletch came from the Bills, but has established himself as a REDSKIN! He has become the LEADER of a MUCH IMPROVED defensive unit. Some guys you find a way to make it happen. He is one of those guys! You cant buy what he brings to the table: dedication, determination, persistence, professionalism, and on and on. He wants to be HERE! Defense is gonna have to be a strong unit this year if all the hopes and dreams are going to be on an unproven rookie qb. The team certainly does not need uncertainty in the middle of its defense. 3 kinds of people in the world. Those that make things happen. Those that watch things happen. Then there are those that wondered what happened? I sure hope we are not the latter two………

  14. By 007 on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    Well brian, chad stated the obvious, but WILLIE wants some love and respect for our best defender these past several years. I also think it warrented while pursuing the course that chad outlined.

    But as you know, I would replace FLETCHER with TULLOCH. Failing that, I would re-sign FLETCHER as soon as possible.

  15. By casey conners on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    London fletcher is better than ray lewis and tulloch on all levels willie is a hundred percent correct lets go fletcher

  16. By casey conners on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    its a fact

  17. By Michael Lewis on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    Have you guys ever thought the Skins are trying to resign Flecther and he wants more then they are willing to give. He already said he can play 3 or 4 years maybe they don’t want to give him a 4 year contract. Also it doesn’t seem like a lot of teams are knocking his door down to sign him so maybe other teams are thinking like the Skins not giving up big money for an aging player.

  18. By Deana on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    This is a no brainer Redskins (Snyder open up that purse)! Simple fact, London Fletcher is the #1 Tackle in the NFL no matter what age he is. Just because he’s not as verbal as some other players in the NFL does not mean the man isn’t a BEAST and we need him. Our defense needs his heart, class, talent, wisdom and most importantly his leadership. It’s the only leadership we have on this team right now and you are screwing yourselves ROYALLY if you don’t see that! Stop playing these stupid games and SIGN THE MAN, WILL YA!

    For God sake, you paid 100 million for a fat piece of crap.

  19. By 007 on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    HAYNESWORTH, the crap that keeps on giving. Over half this salalry cap mess is on his contract. No wonder he was smiling as he left town.

    A TULLOCH is a rising star in this league. He is as good as FLETCHER in my estimation, but I think we ultimately sign FLETCHER. Frankly, I think we need to get younger at the position, but there have been just too many defensive challenges in the d-backfield to muddy the water with a change at SS-ILB right now.

    A two-year contract is reasonable, a three-year deal is a stretch, but I understand FLETCH wants four or even five. Ain’t happenin,’ and everyday that goes by without that one important phone-call from a REDSKINS competitor proves it.

  20. By michael lewis on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    007
    I agree 100%

  21. By 10tak1967 on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    G’Day skins fan…I’m sitting here in Australia and the first thing I do when I get up every morning is log on to see if we have resigned London yet…”NO” look we are a little starved for real time information downunder so its Great to read everyones comments and opinions … But the bottom line is we are a better team with LF… Sign him to a 2 to 3 year contract try and draft an ILB and have him sit behind LF for a couple of years thats how we change the culture surround young players with real leaders…. Let him finish his HOF career in the DC..

  22. By ALLinSKINS on Mar 21, 2012 | Reply

    Its going to get done. This is a young man league so not many teams see value in a 36-37 MLB unless your close and you want to rent him for a year to make a run. Philly was a possibility but they traded for there MLB. The market will set and we will give him the best offer at the end of day. For the record I am All in on Resigning London……

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