London Fletcher Says Goodbye To Redskins Nation

"I've accomplished everything I can accomplish here."

Rumors around London Fletcher (aka #59) retiring have finally been put to rest.

The seventeen-year veteran confirmed today at Redskins Park that he is indeed "99%" sure that this season will be his last as a Redskin.

As the Redskins prepare to take on Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys (without RG3 at the helm) Fletcher, now thirty-eight years old, takes this opportunity to say goodbye to the fans, give props to Coach Shanahan, and thank team owner Dan Snyder. 

“I wanted to look at this opportunity to let the fans know that this will more than likely be my last season in the National Football League. With this being the final home game, I wanted to definitely get an opportunity to say goodbye to the burgundy and gold faithful. The fans at FedEx have been so graceful to me since my seven years here in Washington. Again, I’m about 99 percent certain that this will be my last season in the National Football League. I’ve got to leave at least one percent just in case I change my mind, but it’s really just about having another conversation with my wife. But I just thought with this being the final home game, this being Dallas Cowboy week, an opportunity to go out in a bang, get the fans riled up, say thank you to them and beat the Cowboys. What better way to end it?”

Fletcher gets one last chance this Sunday at FedEx Field against the Cowboys
and Tony Romo.  Photo/CD Brown.

If there was ever a player who put his entire body into his, well, entire body of work, it's London Fletcher. 

As his coach explained, "I’ve never been around a guy quite like London. The way he prepares for every game is like he’s preparing for a Super Bowl. His leadership is unquestioned. When I came in here, everybody had the utmost respect for him, both on and off the football field, and so to have a guy like that in your organization makes it so much easier for a coach because the young guys learn the right way to do things right from the start. So he’s been very, very special to this organization. He’s experienced a lot with different people, different players, different coaches. It’s going to be tough to lose a guy like that, but hopefully he can end it on the right note with a good win against Dallas.”

With that much work in those many years, one is bound to feel the repercussions of all that impact.

“I don’t think anybody is having the kind of year that everybody would like to have, but he’s effective. He’s not doing as much as he’s done before in the past, coverage-wise, on third down but I think he’s playing pretty well", explained Redskins defense coordinator Jim Haslett.

Still, Fletcher is one of four players in NFL history (Jeff Feagles, Brett Favre, Jim Marshall) to exceed 250 consecutive games played.

“Let me say this:  how many linebackers do you know that are 38-years-old that playing in the game? There’s not many. Age catches up with everybody, and he’s played a long, long time. He’s had a great career and whether he plays another year or not, obviously that’s up to him, but I think as you get older you can’t do the things that you did when you were 28, 29, 25, 26. That’s just life. That’s how it works.”

So, what does the potential Hall of Famer, slash Pro Bowler (albeit snubbed several years before receiving the honor) want to do post his NFL career?

You guessed it, broadcasting.

Now, the guy that has been through the ringer with a team that has seen as many player and coaching changes, losing seasons, and highs and lows as one man can stand, will bid a fond farewell to the team and sport he loves, only to join the ranks of other former Redskin players -  turned broadcasters - who let you know how they really feel about this Washington Redskins team they say they love.

 Highlights:  A look back at one London Levi Fletcher-Baker.

Mentoring Kids:  London's Bridge
Fletcher Named To Pro Bowl
Fletcher Named Player of the Year
Fletcher Receives Bart Star Award
Fletcher Named Player of the Year (2009)