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London Fletcher likely to retire at end of season

Washington Redskins v St Louis Rams Getty Images

The Redskins promoted a major player announcement at 1:30 p.m., and they beat their own deadline with something about as major as they could offer that didn’t involve a quarterback.

Veteran linebacker London Fletcher took to the podium and told reporters he was “99 percent certain” he was retiring after the season, saying he was 90 percent sure of that going into this season.

The Redskins play their home finale Sunday against the Cowboys, and the 38-year-old Fletcher said he wanted a chance to say goodbye to the fans there before he went.

It will be the 255th straight game for the 16th-year linebacker, and he’s one of just four players in league history with a streak of more than 250 games.

He spent the first four years of his career with the Rams, then spent five with the Bills before the last seven with the Redskins. 

His announcement will make the game a bit of a celebration for the Redskins, something they haven’t had much reason for this year.

It will also be a bit of a distraction from the ugly mess their season has become, which doesn’t represent the class with which he played for so long.

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51 Responses to “London Fletcher likely to retire at end of season”
  1. ris5445 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:39 PM

    Class act and always has been, hate to see his career and consecutive starts end. Going into 2014 Eli Manning will have the longest active consecutive start streak, wow.

  2. andyb053 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:40 PM

    I was born in 1982 and have been a Redskins fan my whole life. London is quite easily one of my top 5 Redskins of all time, not only because of his on-field performance, but because of his (apparent) leadership and likable personality.

    You will be missed, London. Sorry you had to be on such a crappy team on your way out of a Hall of Fame worthy career.

  3. therealsmiley says: Dec 18, 2013 1:41 PM

    Class act on and off the field. Hail to you Mr. Fletcher!! We’ll miss you! Hail!

  4. 1bbfan says: Dec 18, 2013 1:42 PM

    Good luck London. Class act.

  5. seattlecvd says: Dec 18, 2013 1:43 PM

    As a lifelong Redskins fan, Fletcher has been one of my all-time favorites to don the burgundy and gold. You did it the right way, London.

  6. ingraven says: Dec 18, 2013 1:44 PM

    London’s Last Ride…

  7. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 18, 2013 1:46 PM

    He’s the greatest Linebacker since Singletary. Nobody comes close and I wish the Redskins had 20 other London Fletchers to go with RGIII. Top 3 MLBs of alltime – Singletary, Fletcher and Nitchke. In that order.

  8. beavertonsteve says: Dec 18, 2013 1:47 PM

    Not paying Fletcher him was a big part of the reason that Rams team fell apart.

  9. ravensrooster94 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:48 PM

    As a Ravens fan, I want to congratulate Fletcher on what will certainly be seen as a HOF career. He was the anti-Ray Lewis. All that’s missing are the rings, which he richly deserved.

  10. peytonsneck18 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:48 PM

    Scrub

  11. calicowboysfan86 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:48 PM

    Amazing player. As much as he’s been apart of the Redskins’ wins over my own team it will suck to see him go.

  12. jem8705 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:49 PM

    I dislike the team he plays for but without a doubt in my mind that London Fletcher is a class act and a first ballot Hall of Famer.

  13. Waxxx4321 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:49 PM

    London Fletcher A Legend. Thanks for being the toughest and most devoted skin the last several years.

  14. skins2357 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:51 PM

    the most unhearalded player of all time. Look at his numbers compared to the “greatest” ILB of all time.

    Ray Lewis – 2050 Tackles, 41 sacks, 31 INT

    London Fletcher – 2019 Tackles, 39 Sacks, 23 INT

    If he is not a first ballot Hall of Famer then something is wrong with this world!

  15. JSpicoli says: Dec 18, 2013 1:51 PM

    Legend

  16. jcmanuel23 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:54 PM

    Played in as many as Ray and won one

    As a Ravens fan, I want to congratulate Fletcher on what will certainly be seen as a HOF career. He was the anti-Ray Lewis. All that’s missing are the rings, which he richly deserved.

  17. burnzido says: Dec 18, 2013 1:54 PM

    London Fletcher for 2014 Washington Redskins Linebackers Coach.

  18. kwickett85 says: Dec 18, 2013 1:55 PM

    It’s going to be very hard to replace this man. As a Skins fan living in Buffalo I have had the pleasure of watching him play every game for the last 12 years. A great player and great person.

  19. theebadguy says: Dec 18, 2013 1:55 PM

    Great career but he should have hung’em up after last year.

  20. stillabillsfan says: Dec 18, 2013 1:55 PM

    London was one of my favorite bills players. He played on some great Bills defenses, top 5 defenses most of his years in B-lo, believe it or not. He was a big part of that, and I never could understand why they let him go. It was obvious then he had plenty left in the tank, and he proved it. Something tells me London wouldn’t be retiring unless he knew he couldn’t continue to perform at the high level we’re accustomed to seeing. Thanks for the memories. John Carroll represent!

  21. tersignind says: Dec 18, 2013 1:56 PM

    As a fellow John Carroll University Alum, we are proud of you London.

  22. jacktheraven says: Dec 18, 2013 1:58 PM

    Congrats to Mr. Fletcher on your retirement. From a Ravens fan, you were a great player and a class act.

  23. raveallday says: Dec 18, 2013 2:04 PM

    *I meant RAMS!

  24. nflfan4now says: Dec 18, 2013 2:04 PM

    I think he’s only retiring because he finally realizes he’s too short to play lb in the NFL!!!!

    Seriously, congrats to a class act!

  25. pittski says: Dec 18, 2013 2:05 PM

    We will most certainly miss you, London. HOF for sure and a much needed leader who will be tough to replace. Hopefully Perry Riley can and will fill that huge void. I wish such a depressing season wouldn’t have been Fletchers last. Hail

  26. stlouisramfan says: Dec 18, 2013 2:06 PM

    Don’t forget London did get a ring with the Rams in 2000. Class act and a great player.

  27. freedomofspeechnoway says: Dec 18, 2013 2:09 PM

    London Fletcher really is one of those guys that you only see a handful of each generation. A legitimate all time great. Thank you London.

  28. ravanator says: Dec 18, 2013 2:10 PM

    He is retiring to save himself the embarassment of playing for a couple more years with that pathetic franchise.

    Ray “God” Lewis > London Fletcher

    #lewisgreatestofalltime
    #ravensnation

  29. grogseal says: Dec 18, 2013 2:14 PM

    I will be very interested to see how the Hall of Fame voters handle his candidacy when he is eligible.

    Based on London’s total package he should be an easy choice. We’ll see..

  30. thirdistheworrd says: Dec 18, 2013 2:18 PM

    As a die-hard Redskins fan and owner of two Fletcher jerseys (thought I lost one, bought a second, found first one) you hate to see an all-time great go. On the other hand, as much as I hate to say it, it’s time for him to retire. He’s played like a 25 year-old for the last fifteen years, but now that he’s hit 38, he’s begun playing like a 31-year-old.

    Before this season I don’t think I had ever seen him miss a tackle in his life– and since Fletcher was so relied upon to carry the whole defense every year, this year, his poor tackling this season was definitely a large part of the Redskins defensive struggles. That said, the team should immediately hire him back on as a linebackers coach, (or defensive coordinator, or head coach) his mind is too good to waste off of the football field.

  31. jamaltimore says: Dec 18, 2013 2:22 PM

    Classy Player and Great Redskin. Ultimate Team Guy who I’m sure was forced to announce his retirement now to distract people from how miserable his employers are!

    Good Luck London and Thanks for the Memories!

  32. godofwine330 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:24 PM

    Great player. Curious to see if he makes the HOF considering his stats are comparable to Ray Lewis, though Ray Lewis had much more fanfare. I guess we’ll see.

  33. scoobies05 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:33 PM

    great player great person great career. enjoy retirement

    signed ravens nation

  34. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:46 PM

    Mad respect for this dude. Not much else for anyone in that organization, but got to love London.

  35. ravensdominate says: Dec 18, 2013 2:50 PM

    Poor man’s ray Lewis. Retire with nothing, loser.

  36. tavisteelersfan says: Dec 18, 2013 2:54 PM

    Top shelf guy.

  37. wethog66 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:54 PM

    Class act and a straight up stud.

    Thank You for everything Fletch.

  38. stevenwilliams2013 says: Dec 18, 2013 2:55 PM

    A great player

  39. hawkforlife says: Dec 18, 2013 2:57 PM

    A true football player!

  40. wrdtoyrmama says: Dec 18, 2013 3:01 PM

    Great pro and one tough middle linebacker.
    Well done, Mr. Fletcher….

  41. redskins82 says: Dec 18, 2013 3:11 PM

    One of the classiest, hardest-working players of all time. To start that many consecutive games as a LB is one of the most impressive records ever. Good luck in the future and thanks for the great memories. You were a bright spot in a (mostly) bad Redskins era!

  42. bigbaldpapahawk says: Dec 18, 2013 3:17 PM

    First-ballot HoFer for sure. He played the game like it was meant to be played and he did it with class.

    The league will be losing a great.

  43. yevrag3535 says: Dec 18, 2013 3:26 PM

    Great player, but it is time. Thanks for all the memories.

  44. irkjames says: Dec 18, 2013 3:44 PM

    As a Dolphins fan, I honestly consider London Fletcher to be one of the NFL’s most under-rated players of all time.

    I don’t think he made it to the Pro Bowl till about his 10th season in the league, but in a world where most don’t make it passed the first or second, there’s got to be a reason why he was a LEGITIMATE STARTER for well over a decade.

    Kudos. Never once complained and just worked his butt off for his money. The honest way. Talent for days and a class act. Salute!

  45. bucsfan21 says: Dec 18, 2013 3:56 PM

    Good for London. Great career, and gets to go out before his play drastically drops off. Reminds me of Derrick Brooks, except Derrick played one year too many. His last game against Oakland he looked like he didn’t belong on an NFL field. Good to see London hang em up before that happens!

  46. discountdoublecheck says: Dec 18, 2013 4:21 PM

    Growing up around the DC area…I truly cannot stand the Redskins fanbase for many reasons, but Fletcher was/is the consumate professional. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t end up in Canton.

    Enjoy your time off London. It’s well deserved.

    Seems like just yesterday he had that season he went by London Fletcher-Baker.

  47. teambringitstrong says: Dec 18, 2013 4:22 PM

    .com is logging off. It’s been a great run, London. Enjoy retirement.

  48. gibson34 says: Dec 18, 2013 4:22 PM

    bummer…miss Witten and all the stud TE’s abusing this guy week to week.

  49. suav3n says: Dec 18, 2013 4:33 PM

    Comparable stats to Lewis, and he didn’t have the murder trial.

    Defensive back bone.

  50. jimiinpa says: Dec 18, 2013 4:57 PM

    London Fletcher likely to retire at end of season=Nobody will sign him

  51. idpfantasyfootball says: Dec 18, 2013 5:13 PM

    Fletcher has always played the game the way that it was meant to be played. He is a tough, physical linebacker that doesn’t take plays off.

    His longevity is a testimony to his commitment to the sport and his leadership will be missed should he decide to hang up the cleats after this season.

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