London Fletcher’s Act is Getting Old
London Fletcher is without a doubt the heart and soul of not only the defense, but also the Washington Redskins. Losing him would not only add a hole at the linebacker position, but also at the teacher and leadership role. It’s been said that signing Fletcher is imperative, but what happens when he’s his own worst enemy?
Fletcher has been a dominate force his entire NFL career. An undersized, under-appreciated linebacker who has put up numbers that match close to those of Ray Lewis. Perhaps because he’s never been flashy or loud, he’s never been given the credit when due (such as Pro Bowl votes).
Last year we saw that change. After making a big play, his celebrations were much longer and much louder. Was that an effort to make his name known around the league in hopes of getting his final payday, something he knew the Redskins were no longer doing?
According to sources, Fletcher was looking to receive something close to what Ray Lewis had re-signed for in 2009, three-years, $25 million. The Redskins on the other hand weren’t looking to pay him the $7-8 million a year he wanted, but rather $6 million, leaving him at a three-year $18 million dollar contract.
Feeling he was worth more than the $6 million per year the Redskins offered, Fletcher hit the free-agency market in hopes of a bigger offering. Unfortunately Fletcher was hit with reality when not one team called showing interest. That’s just the norm for an aging veteran. While Redskins fans see a leader and player, the other 31 teams see a 36-year-old going on 37.
Where does that leave Fletcher? In a position much worse than what he was in – had he signed for the three-years Washington offered. With free-agency signings, money that was available for Fletcher has dropped significantly. The Redskins can no longer afford to offer him a three-year contract to his measure – and while younger players are hitting the market, such as Curtis Lofton who nearly signed with the Baltimore Ravens for one-year, Fletcher’s value is only dropping more.
More surprising though, is how he’s gone to twitter in what appears to be an effort to toy with fans:
Other than the Redskins, Fletcher knows he has nobody eying him. So what’s the hold up? If he doesn’t sign with Washington, he has nowhere to play. He’s said many times on twitter that he loves it in Washington and wants to be here, so why is he playing games? If he loves the fans as he says, he’d do them and himself a favor and sign with the Redskins.
Otherwise, Washington will have no other choice, but to sign a younger LB such as Lofton or draft one, such as Mychal Kendricks. Whether we like it or not, it’s smarter to bring in a younger, just as talented linebacker, for close to nothing than to sign an aging linebacker like London Fletcher to a three-year deal.