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.
A lot happened leading up to the 1997 season for the Washington Redskins. Former owner Jack Kent Cooke had passed away, Norv Turner was brought in to lead the Redskins back to their winning ways and FedExField, then Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, had just opened in Landover, Maryland.
It’s been over 20 years since teams and opposing fans were intimidated by the Washington Redskins. Unlike the 80’s and early 90’s, today’s Redskins have been nothing more than a dumpster fire on and off the field. That however, is about to change.
Since Washington traded up with St. Louis to land the number two overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, fans of opposing teams, especially the NFC East, have begun to change their minds about the Redskins. They now realize Washington, a team that has become more competitive since the arrival of Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, is about to exceed expectations, thanks to should-be draftee Heisman winning QB, Robert Griffin III.
Instead of a football team that has been known for its joke behind center – they (Redskins) now have a legitimate threat taking snaps. One that can burn you by tucking the ball in and running, such as Philadelphia Eagles QB, Michael Vick, but also kill you in the air, with the accuracy of Peyton Manning.
Rather than heading into the season with two-wins already in their book (vs. Washington), opposing teams and fans are now wondering what this means for their future. The team they are so used to defeating is now going to be able to challenge them.
Take MSN Fox Sport’s writer, Jen Engel, whom Thursday wrote an article, RG3 should scramble away from DC. Why? Because the Redskins are “dysfunctional” and he (RGIII) will “likely” fail because “nobody wins with the Redskins.”
Granted, she is a Cowboys fan so her bias is expected, but why one would think the Redskins are being ran the same way they were three years ago is ludicrous. Truth is, she watched RGIII at Baylor and realizes how dangerous the kid is – and with the Washington Redskins, a team that’s been missing a QB for decades, she knows they could become an instant contender.
However, not even Engel could top John Mara, the New York Giants President and team owner.
The NFL’s “Management Council Executive Committee/Labor” department, whom took 36 million away from the Redskins cap ($18 mil in both ‘12 and ‘13) is ironically ran by the same man who owns the New York Giants, John Mara.
Strange how when Rex Grossman was the starting QB, a player known for his inconsistent and at times horrible play, there was no problem with the Redskins spending money (which was well within the rules of 2010 and 2011 CBA), yet once the trade with St. Louis hit the table, the Redskins got nailed for breaking a “rule” that was never in place.
Perhaps it’s because Mara realized the Redskins who managed to sweep his Championship winning Giants, were finally ready to start competing. Mixing in RGIII with another off-season like the one they just had, would only mean future division titles and the spotlight being taken off his precious team.
Shame the Redskins still managed to play by the “rules” and beat Mara and his accomplices at their own game (who will all be dealt with Monday when the Redskins take them to court for what should be collusion).
When you are instilling fear into not only fans, bloggers, but also division owners, you know you’re doing something right. For the first time in a long time, Redskins fans can say proudly and positively, we’re back!
Over the last couple of weeks, Redskins fans have been sending messages to London Fletcher on Twitter, letting him know how much he means to not only the team, but also them (the fans). Unfortunately, Fletcher has still not signed a deal with the Washington Redskins, and it appears that they could be losing him. It’s time to make the final push Redskins Nation, take to Twitter and let Fletcher know we need him!
Make sure to include the hash tag #ReSign59 and spread the word to your friends.
The Washington Redskins first free-agent acquisition of the day came with former Indianapolis Colt’s wide receiver, Pierre Garcon. Garcon scored six touchdowns, while hauling in 947 yards last season.
Garcon took to Facebook to announce he would be signing with the Washington Redskins, saying the following:
“I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news… I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I’m very excited about the opportunity in front of me.”
Garcon could become the Kendall Wright for Robert Griffin III.
Washington is still in the hunt for another wide receiver and possible linemen. Stay tuned for more free-agent signings.
During the dominating era of the 80’s and early 90’s, the Redskins were known as one of the most powerful teams in the NFL. The entire city of Washington D.C was behind them and fans took pride in claiming to root for the burgundy and gold. Their logo and other Redskins gear made it in movies, such as “D.C Taxi” and “National Lampoons Vacation,” as well as all over the city and county.
When teams saw Washington on their schedule, they knew they were in for a 60 minute fight of their lives at least once during the season.
Since then, things have changed, dramatically. Washington D.C is gaining more Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Steelers fans. You’re lucky to find a Redskins flag flying or piece of gear anywhere in a store – and it’s hard to find somebody who claims to be a Redskins fans like they used to. The team has turned into constant mistakes of throwing money at past their prime veterans or the drafting of players who have been overrated.
All of that is about to change.
Since Joe Gibbs left (both times), the Redskins have been looking for “their guy.” Through the many mistakes of Steve Spurrier, Norv Turner and Jim Zorn, the Redskins may have finally found him in Mike Shanahan. Shanahan is a coach that doesn’t take trouble from anyone (see Albert Haynesworth), but also knows when to correct a mistake he’s made (see Donovan McNabb). Not to mention the plan he has and the types of players he’s bringing in to ensure that it works.
After just two full seasons in Washington, Mike Shanahan has done something all three of those coaches failed to do. He’s turned the image of the Washington Redskins around to not only the fans, but also the media and NFL. A place one known for past their prime veterans and massive contracts are gone. He’s made it quite clear if you’re going to come to Washington, you are not only going to play like a professional, but you’re also going to act like one.
Besides all of that, Mike Shanahan has cleaned out the majority of Zorn and Cerrato’s mistakes. The players on the roster today want to play, they try and never give up. From 00:01-60:00 you know you’re going to get a hard-hitting and determined football team – and though they may not win every time, they will give you 100% effort on the field.
In return, Washington is now become a city that players want to come to because they see themselves winning. Only one man before Mike Shanahan was able to do this, Joe Gibbs.
There’s still a couple of steps to go, but the foundation is near complete.
Get ready Washington, the District is about to be taken over once again by the Redskins. Burgundy and gold will soar high, streets will be empty on game day, FedExField will be shaking like RFK and the best ticket in town will be to a Redskins game.
The Washington Redskins made it clear who they wanted in the 2012 NFL Draft, Baylor’s Heisman winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Washington traded their 2012, 2013 and 2014 first-round draft picks, as well as their 2012 second round pick to St. Louis in order to land the quarterback — but did they give up too much?
Without a blink of an eye, one would think the answer is yes. The Redskins without a doubt gave up too much for a player who may be a bust, but it was risk they had to take. Not to mention the pressure from Redskins fans and government officials.
Washington hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Sammy Baugh, whom the franchise drafted in 1937. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen clearly knew this – and decided they had to risk the picks.
Unfortunately for Mike, if he played his cards wrong, he will more than likely be canned by Snyder – who for once would have the right to fire a coach so soon. Trading three first-rounders and an early second would not only set the team back, but it would crumble them for years. Something not even a new coach would be able to fix.
Had the Redskins kept those two first rounders and early second, they could have drafted multiple could-be play makers, without the risk of losing anything on them had they be bust. On the other hand, they wouldn’t have landed themselves the franchise QB they’ve been missing for so long.
If Robert Griffin III becomes that franchise QB for the Washington Redskins, there will be instant results, not only on the field, but off it. Washington will become the city we once knew in the 1980’s, a city that backed the team and went wild. FedExField would turn into a stadium fans appreciated, it would gain the face it’s been missing for so long, but more importantly, the seats would be filled with Redskins fans.
Take a look around, listen to opposing NFC East fans, they are by no means happy that the Redskins will be taking RGIII. A team that has gone 4-8 over the last two seasons in the division, has a young, talented quarterback, who not only can air it out, but fly by you.
Too much? Too little? That is one thing we will have to wait on. Naturally if RGIII pans out, the Redskins will look like geniuses with the trade. If he fails, the Browns and Rams look like geniuses — while the Redskins add to the mockery they have been known for.
One thing that’s certain, the Redskins need to find him targets to throw too.
After hearing the exciting news that the Washington Redskins traded up for the second round pick in this years draft, I decided to make a video welcoming Robert Griffin III to Washington D.C. Most fans and media project the Redskins to draft Griffin in hopes of him becoming the next franchise QB — a first since Sammy Baugh in 1937.
While Redskins Nation has been in an uproar over the quarterback position and who fits the best for their price, we sat down with former Redskins tackle, Clint Oldenburg and asked him a couple questions about the 2011 Redskins and future with Mike Shanahan.
SOW: There’s been a lot of injuries on the offensive line lately – and even before you came to the Redskins in 2010. Does it have something to do with the players the Redskins are bringing in? Strength and conditioning not being enough? We understand offensive linemen take a lot of wear and tear, but do you feel there is a specific reason injuries kept plaguing the team?
Clint: No, I don’t think so, I don’t really think there’s a reason for injuries because they’re just a feature of ruts. I’ve been an NFL player for almost five years and there’s been only one year when I did not get hurt. I trained my butt off, I did everything they told me to do and I’ve had a number of injuries, so I don’t think there’s one thing that you can look at that causes injuries to happen.
SOW: Absolutely. It just seemed that a lot of our players had been going down, not just the offensive line. Obviously this year with the lockout a lot of players weren’t able to get as much attention as they would have, especially the rookies.
Clint: That was big last year, the lockout had a big effect on players. I read somewhere that the average number of Achilles injuries in the NFL over the last five years was around four or five a year – and last year there was over 14 – so the lockout definitely could have had an effect on it.
SOW: Earlier last year you were unfortunately released by the Redskins. Were you surprised they had let you go due to the small amount offensive linemen they had planned on keeping? Erik Cook was the replacement for three different positions at one point.
Clint: I have a two-part answer on that. Going into the season I thought for sure I was going to be a contributor on the offensive line, but after the first two weeks of camp, I kind of knew my time was up in Washington. The numbers of reps I was receiving was drastically decreasing compared to the season before, I wasn’t playing in any of the pre-season games; which is always a bad sign for any football player.
Part two of that answer is why did it happen? Obviously I wasn’t in the coaching or staff meetings in the front office, but I fully believe that I’m a casualty of the lockout. During a lockout you were going to see a polarization of rosters in the NFL – and they were either going to be very young players that were kept, rookies that had potential, or veteran type guys, whose names had been around, who had a lot of experience, so that there wasn’t a lot of risk in letting those guys play.
There was that middle class of players like myself, that’s not a rookie, but not quite a veteran because I bounced around a lot and didn’t have enough experience. Because there’s no offseason workouts, no OTA’s, where guys like me can show the coaches, hey I can be a contributor, like I did in 2010. That’s what happened, I had a really good offseason and training camp, that’s why they kept me around even though I was hurt (2010). So I think that opportunity went away with the lockout and cost some guys their jobs.
SOW: That’s unfortunate because the Redskins obviously could have used you when all the injuries piled up on the line. Were you surprised the Redskins didn’t contact you to help fill a spot, knowing you knew the offense and blocking scheme?
Clint: Yeah, that did surprise me, I thought I at least would have been on a short list, if they had some injuries or something, that I would be one of the guys they would want to take a look at. The NFL is a business and obviously they moved on, liked what they had. The young guys in there had potential and they went up and got veterans – there was nothing I could do about it. They knew what kind of player I was and guess they didn’t feel I could help them out.
SOW: You mentioned on twitter that fans should believe in Mike Shanahan because he’s going to get the job done and he’s doing things correctly. Can you elaborate on that more? You’ve been with other teams, how is he different compared to other coaches?
Clint: Well, I can’t really compare him to other coaches, every coach has their own style. From my experience with coach Shanahan is, he’s a consistent coach, which is the number one thing any player can ask for. Number two. He has a vision on what he wants to accomplish and the types of players he wants to help him accomplish it. Regardless of the records or how much the team has been struggling, he’s going to stay the course and keep fighting the fights to get his vision done. While he might not have all the guys there that he thinks he needs to get it done, he believes in his head he has the right circuitry of guys that’s going to give him the best chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for in a coach.
If given enough time in Washington, I think he will be a very successful coach there – I really enjoyed playing for him.
SOW: That’s a lot of positives with how the Redskins have been pre-Shanahan. What’s it like in the UFL with the Virginia Destroyers? They’re a new team, you just won the championship. How has it been down there?
Clint: Seasons over so I’m back in Colorado, but, the UFL is a great opportunity for guys like me to continue to play football and keep ourselves in shape if the NFL needs us. There’s a lot of talent, a lot of great coaches in the UFL. I think it goes to show, that a) there’s not enough spots in the NFL because there’s enough good players that are not in the league, but b) there’s other ways to play competitive football. While it may not be as valued or followed as the NFL, the UFL was a great experience for me and I might have another opportunity to play there again next year. I think the UFL, if they get the business side together, they can be successful.
SOW: We hope you continue to flourish in the UFL and can comeback to the NFL again. Maybe even again for the Redskins. Thanks again for your time Clint, take care.
Clint: Thanks guys, you too.
Clint doesn’t have any foundations currently, but he supports the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
One question that comes up each season from Redskins fans is when will the team move back to Washington D.C? Due to recent rumors of the city trying to “lure” the team back to the Nations Capital with a new practice facility, the conversation has sparked up even more.
The team played in the District every year from 1937-1997 (when they moved from Boston to D.C). That changed when Jack Kent Cooke, then owner of the Redskins decided to have a new stadium built in Landover, Maryland.
While fans dislike many things about FedExField, such as the “prison look” due to all the white concrete, the horrendous traffic jams, ticket / concession stand prices, and the belief that moving to Maryland jinxed the team’s success — there is one nice thing about FedExField – not having to pay for PSL’s (personal seat licenses).
Fans fail to realize if the Redskins move back to Washington D.C, they will more than likely have to pay the price of PSL’s (at least season ticket holders). Just about all current stadiums built during or after 1996 require a PSL (Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis and Tennessee).
Though PSL’s have their advantages, such as you owning the seats, meaning you can sell your tickets to whoever you’d like without going through the team – the downside is the outrageous prices they cost. For instance the Dallas Cowboys PSL’s range from $16,000.00-$50,000.00 depending on where your seats are located. That’s without the cost of season tickets added in.
Much like anything that expensive, you have the option of finance plans, however you still must place a down payment. How much did this come out for the Cowboys? About $13,960.00, then $3,490.00 a year for the next 30 years (this was for the $50,000.00 PSL). Remember, that’s just the PSL, you still have to include your season tickets, which are only a set price for five years (for the Cowboys), after that they can raise the prices of them (tickets).
Certainly each PSL will not cost $50,000.00, but most lower level and club level seats run close to that price range. While upper level PSL’s run from $5,000.00 to $16,000.00. On a side note, due to the financing plans you end up paying around four times the original price.. For example the $50,000.00 PSL will run you $207,000.00 in the end.
So is it really worth moving back to Washington D.C to pay prices along that line? Granted, if you don’t own season tickets you have nothing to worry about, except for the fact that if fans who own season tickets give them up or cannot afford them anymore, the stadium will not be sold out, resulting in blackouts
Feel like driving 75 miles (depending on where you are located) to watch a Redskins game?