Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said recently that he’s still thinking about whether or not he wants to return for a 16th season.
That alone is enough to leave coach Mike Shanahan thinking that he’s going to need to find a new linebacker for the 2013 season. Shanahan recently told the Redskins website that he doesn’t know what Fletcher will do, but that his experience is that players who entertain notions of retirement are likely to be heading into another line of work.
“I really don’t know. One thing you have to do is, you’ve got to have a mindset that there’s no way you’re going to retire,” Shanahan said, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “Because if you’re thinking about retirement, you’re not really sure — at least when I look at my previous years, and you look back at guys — if you’re thinking about retiring, you’re probably already retired.”
In case you forgot, Shanahan never coached Brett Favre. There are plenty of other examples of players who contemplate retirement before deciding to fully commit themselves to another year, although you can’t blame Shanahan and the team for coming up with plans for life without Fletcher.
“London’s the type of guy that you don’t even want to ask him a question,” Shanahan said. “Because his mindset, he’s a warrior, how hard he’s played and what he’s done for this organization. But all those those things, you’ve got to have a game plan for if he does come back, if he doesn’t come back. You’re taking a look at your financial responsibilities, if you do have the hit that we may take. You just don’t know. So we’ve got a game plan for all scenarios, but you always hope that your great players keep on playing at a high level.”
With the Redskins also trying to secure the return of linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, you’d imagine they’d like to know Fletcher’s answer sooner rather than later.