At age 38, London Fletcher sees no reason he should retire

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Washington linebacker London Fletcher turned 38 on Friday, but he says he hasn’t given serious thought to retiring.

Instead, Fletcher told the Washington Post that he is looking forward to a good season on a good team as he heads into his 16th NFL season.

It’s just the desire to continue to play,” Fletcher said. “I’m still playing at a high level, the team still wanted me to play. So, a lot of those things come into play. I still love the game of football, so those were the decisions. Also, I like where this team is at, the makeup of it. Those were all factors.”

Fletcher’s coach, Mike Shanahan, said early in the offseason that when players Fletcher’s age start thinking about retirement, that probably means it’s time to retire. It’s good news for Washington that Fletcher isn’t thinking about it. He’s still playing well, past the age when most linebackers hang it up.

76 responses to “At age 38, London Fletcher sees no reason he should retire

  1. It always amazes me when I watch this guy. A lot of times I don’t notice the things he’s doing until I watch the game a seond time. When I’m watching it live, I’m pretty much just following the ball. While, he gets to the ball a lot he’s also really good in coverage. He takes on and sheds blockers well. I have, on several occasions, found myself with the remote in my hand rewinding a play over and over again and thinking, “No way this guy is 38.”

  2. Most underrated MLB in NFL history. His stats are comparable if not better than Ray Lewis. He would be a first ballot Hall of Famer if he didn’t play for small market teams.

  3. no doubt london fletcher has been a very good player for a very long time. but enough with the ray lewis comparisons. because there is no comparison. ray is in the discussion for greatest ever. fletcher is just not in that category

  4. He should play as long as he wants to and can play at a high level. ANY football player who is 38 years old (even a kicker) would THINK about retirement. Someone like Fletcher knows that they’ve got the NFL pension requirements behind them and a broadcasting career ahead of them. And now that Ronde Barber has retired, Fletch also knows that he is in sole ownership of the longest active consecutive games played streak. He also has the best chance of competing for a title since he left the Rams. Why quit if you’re still having fun?

  5. Can’t blame any player for hanging on as long as possible. Most of them will never see this kind of money again.

  6. Howiefelter.

    Ray Lewis- 13 time pro bowler, super bowl 35 MVP, 2 time defensive player of the year, 7 time all pro, 2 time world champion and the only member of the 30/40 club.

    London fletcher – just old.

    Stop it. There’s no comparison.

  7. “With these new and improved PED’s, I see him playing well into his 50′s.”

    In Seattle …

  8. I hate the Skins, but it’s tough for a football fan to not love London Fletcher. Dude is a freak of nature.

  9. Better and more consistent than Ray Ray. But because he’s not a hypocritical, shameless, self promotor he never got the pub.

  10. Classiest defensive player in NFL history. It’s fantastic that he got the chance to join the Redskins. The most underappreciated player in the NFL today. #Redskinsareunmatched

  11. Logicalvoicesays: the greatest linebacker of all time isn’t going anywhere, he will help the redskins win multiple superbowls. The league has been warned!

  12. London Fletcher is an outstanding football player. Whether he makes it into Canton for that matter is open to discussion. Chris Spielman was a tackling machine as well. The problem with Fletcher is he has played on some bad teams in Washington. That and the fact that he never altered a game plan like Ray Lewis.

  13. Great LB! Probably the best tackler ever….if you like all your stops 5 yds from the line of scrimmage. 2nd and 5 all day with London on the prowl. Can’t shed a blocker or hit a ball carrier in the hole to save his life.

  14. h1ndrix says:
    May 24, 2013 10:31 AM
    Better and more consistent than Ray Ray. But because he’s not a hypocritical, shameless, self promotor he never got the pub.


    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’d rather have one Fletcher than any number of Lewises.

  15. Amazing that he didn’t get to the Pro Bowl until 2009, and that was as an alternate. His stats are comparable to Ray Lewis, but he doesn’t and never has gotten the noteriety. A great player that never seems to get his due. Could he actually play 2 more years? If so that would be outstanding to be an NFL linebacker for that long and still be effective.

  16. Look, Fletcher is a solid player, but stats are only part of the story. Ray Lewis made OC’s change their gameplans, and then change them again mid-game when Ray continually audibled the D’s formations to counter the moves. Listen to Tom Brady talk about the “chess matches” with Ray. Also, whether you love or hate him, you cannot deny that he motivated his teammates and helped make everyone play harder. I don’t hear any of that stuff about Fletcher, ever, from his peers or the media.

    And the notion that Fletcher doesn’t get publicity because he’s played on small market teams? Huh? Isn’t DC market #8 or something and Baltimore is #27? Come on man. Why let your hate for another guy even enter the discussion about Fletcher?

  17. Similar Stats Huh?

    Ray Lewis

    TCKL SOLO 1,336
    SCK 41.5
    FF 17
    INT 31
    TDS 3
    DPOY 2
    Super Bowl MVP 1
    All Pro 7
    Pro Bowls 13
    Super Bowl Wins 2
    Only Memeber of 40 Sack/30 INT Club

    London Fletcher
    TCKL SOLO 1,134
    SCK 37
    FF 18
    INT 23
    TDS 3
    DPOY 0
    Super Bowl MVP 0
    All Pro 0
    Pro Bowls 4
    Super Bowl Wins 1

  18. All these Ray Lewis lovers forget the one stat thats most important.

    Number of people Lewis is “suspected” of murdering….2


  19. ray lewis was better, but if thats what this argument has been reduced to than how great is fletcher that all these people are comparing him, even negatively, to just ray lewis?

    and btw, for the fans out there, heres the two most important stats:
    1. as a person, london fletcher is infinately easier to root for than ray lewis.
    2. he has 100% less people murdered to his name.

  20. It’s funny to see all these Redskins fans desperate to compare London Fletcher to Ray Lewis. I guess the only way to make the Skins relevant is to ride on someone else’s coattails.

    Not only is Ray Lewis statistically better, but he was the leader of some absolutely amazing defenses that won games IN SPITE OF anemic Ravens’ offenses. I can think of a few Ray Lewis PLAYS that won games single handedly.

    London Fletcher has been a great and durable linebacker, but to say he had the same impact as Ray Lewis is just absurd. Thankfully this is a delusion exclusive to Redskins fans.

  21. Ray Lewis: Retired; when he went out and tested the market he had to come back to the Ravens. NOBODY wanted the sorry, broke down, murdering , crying self promoting windbag. Alfred Morris, a rookie, juked him out of his cleats. Skins beat Bmore so shut up.

    If Fletcher was a free agent he would be picked up in a minute. Why? Because he can still ball.
    Get real you Baltimorons, if he was on your team all these years you would have loved him and made comparisons yourselves. Chumps.

  22. Please stay a few more years, I like when you tackle a player 7 yards down field and the Redskin fans say you are better than Ray Lewis. Kinda of reminds me of how delusional the Bronco fans were about Tim Tebow. Fletcher good guy, but I would take at least half of the league over him in the last 7 years. Hello reason no one wanted him besides Skins. HAIL

  23. flaccodelic says:
    May 24, 2013 10:53 AM
    Look, Fletcher is a solid player, but stats are only part of the story. I don’t hear any of that stuff about Fletcher, ever, from his peers or the media.

    hes better than “solid” and perhaps you should watch more than one game per week and read more than just what people say about your own teams players.

    his peers say the exact same things about him. go watch the utube video of his peers talking about him in the top 100 players of 2013, for example.

    And the notion that Fletcher doesn’t get publicity because he’s played on small market teams?

    no one has that notion. stop making stuff up. if 1 person made that mistake, its not a “notion” its a mistake by one person. he has suffered in the past from being on lots of subpar teams . that is one thing has hurt them. probably not quite as great as ray lewis, but not far behind…which honestly is quite a bigger feat to me for an undrafted player from john carroll college an a first round pick from “the u”

  24. he lost some speed and his caoch will somehow to get his knee blown out.

  25. The stats are a good guide – they show London
    having a strong case for being the better player.

    According to, Ray played 228 games in 17 seasons to London’s 240 games in 16 seasons.

    Ray has 1,336 total tackles in that time (972 solo), London has 1,685 (1,134 solo).

    Ray has 31 INT’s to London’s 23, but London leads with 73 passes defensed to Ray’s 67.

    London leads with 18 forced fumbles to Ray’s 17.

    I discount the importance of Pro Bowls since that is often a popularity contest (media favorite Jeff Saturday make the Pro Bowl last year, despite being the Packer’s 3rd string center).

    Super Bowl’s too are important but not conclusive. The Skins have been awful for years with a terrible owner, GM’s, QB’s and O-Line. The Ravens had solid QB play, smart execs, excellent O-Line. Not London’s fault or Ray’s credit.

    The media (ESPN in particular) like to show Ray’s rah-rah speeches and call it leadership, but London is considered a real leader on the team, such that the team put RG3’s locker next to his to help nurture him day-in, day-out.

    And, of course, Ray was convicted of obstruction of justice when he wouldn’t explain why a dead man’s blood was all over his clothes and car. London doesn’t have blood on his hands.

    Ray is clearly one of the best of all time, but to say that London is not is just incorrect.

  26. staubach12ismyidol says:
    May 24, 2013 11:00 AM
    All these Ray Lewis lovers forget the one stat thats most important.

    Number of people Lewis is “suspected” of murdering….2


    Christ that’s old. Are you stupid or blind? Because nobody is “suspected” of anything. He and his friends got jumped in a parking lot trying to avoid a fight in the club…one of the attackers smashes a guy in the head with a champagne bottle…there’s a fight, two attackers die. The state of Georgia acquits his friends — that means NOT GUILTY — by reason of self-defense. So there was no “murder” that night.

    Should you ever get jumped in a parking lot I hope you’re as lucky as they were.

  27. I find it fascinating that a few posters have attempted to diminish London Fletcher’s career by comparing him to Ray Lewis.

    Lewis is a first ballot HOF linebacker, anyone who says differently is saying so for reasons other than his football career. He is one of the most visible, publicized players in history, whose leadership methods not only motivated his team but made TV executives drool, and order cameras pointed at him. He was a great player and one filled with bombast, noise, shouts and whoops–perfect for for today’s TV age. Doesn’t diminish his accomplishments, and should not.

    Fletcher, on the other hand, is more old school. He is not flashy, he does not bounce off walls or jump about or appeal to the camera. And he has also been largely ignored because he’s been on some miserable franchises, surrounded by lousy defenders, not playing for the great defenses of the Baltimore Ravens.

    Ask any Redskin,or former teammate about his leadership, and you will learn the quality of the real man. He leads by example not war chants Different strokes for different folks. He leads his team–sometimes the league–in tackles and he plays every single game. EVERY game at an age when everyone else–Lewis included–has been relegated to the TV booth, the hot tub or the rocking chair.

    He’s gotten 1/1000th the pub of Lewis, and if he gets recognition late in his career after years of non-recognition, only a real blockhead would deny him his overdue praise.

    One more thing. Lewis came into the league expected to succeed, a 1st round pick from (then) powerhouse Miami. He has. Fletcher was a nobody from nowhere. He has succeeded.

    That Fletcher is being compared to one of the all time greats is not an insult, even if that is the intention of the writer. Fletcher IS one of the all-time greats, too. Period.

  28. Dont mind these skins fans, they are comical.
    When you talk to one,these are a few things you will have to hear that expresses their knowledge of the sport.

    1) Fletcher is better than Ray Ray HAHA
    2)Doug Williams better than Dan Marino
    3)Alfred Morris better than Barry Sanders
    4)Art Chump Monk better than Jerry Rice
    5)Joe Gibbs better than Vince Lombardi
    6)Lavar Arrington Better than Derrick Brooks
    7)Bruce Smiths and Deoins Best days were with Skins.
    8)Sean Taylor would be the Best Player Ever if he were still alive. Although personally I think he would not last with todays NFL rules.
    9)Skins will be Super Bowl Champs this year.

    There you go skin fans I have covered all that you guys like to say. HAIL

  29. croftonmdraven says:
    May 24, 2013 10:55 AM
    Similar Stats Huh?

    Yes, in terms of game performances they are very comparable. (BTW, you screwed up and compared Ray’s combo tackles with London’s individual tackles.) Ray has been on some better teams overall so he’s gotten a lot more pub.

    Also, as stated earlier, the individual awards pretty much always go to the flashy self-promoters. A guy like Fletcher stays under the radar, being a good teammate, and not participating in felony murders.

    When RGIII was drafted, they immediately put his locker right next to London Fletcher’s, because Fletcher is the kind of guy you want your rookies to emulate. Lewis is the kind of guy I’d like my rookies to avoid altogether if I was a coach.

  30. For the love of god…enough with the Ray Lewis comparisons. There is no comparison. I love how people saw that stupid side by side of the two of them on fox a few years ago and because the #s are far closer than one might assume, all of a sudden London is one of the best LB’s of all time like Ray? Any football fan knows that Ray was far superior in just about every facet of the game. Keep making the murderer references. London may be less of an alleged criminal, but Ray has him every day of the week in terms of football.

    Oh, and since it’s the trendy thing to do to back up one’s argument on here, let me qualify my remarks by stating ‘I’m not even a Ravens fan.’ Just have common sense.

  31. slickzmoney says: May 24, 2013 10:20 AM

    Love Fletcher but the age is showing. Too many missed tackles last year and he can’t cover TEs.
    Yes, a 5’9 38 year old struggled in coverage against a 6’10 25 year old– Let’s cut him immediately. Fletcher never should have had those coverage assignments. Tight ends, especially tall ones, are covered by safeties or OLBs. Given that Washington had no “safeties” and only one pass-rushing OLB after Orakpo went down, the responsibility went to Fletcher.

    In fact, it’s really a tribute to Fletch’s abilities that Jimmy Graham and Kyle Rudolph didn’t pull off 18 rec./300 yd games against him.

    Point is, Fletcher covered Harvin adequately in the slot, Fletcher covered Jackson and Maclin, and Austin. He is getting older, and he did get beat up pretty bad by guys who have a foot on him and were learning to catch a football around the time he entered the NFL. But he’s still Fletch and any team in the league would be happy to have him as long as he ‘s willing to play.

  32. In the best tradition of Redskin greats like Darrell Green and Art Monk, Fletch is much better than others who are rated higher only because they are constantly telling the world how great they are.

  33. so when ray cant cover hes old and slow. when fletcher cant cover hes playing out of position and doing the best he can. that makes sense. london fletcher is a great player who may be a hofer one day. ray lewis is in the convo for greatest ever. there is no comparison. and a lot of this come from his peers…not computer jockeys like us

  34. This guy is amazing and always has been. Hated to see him leave Buffalo.

  35. I’m a stats person. The stats say London is better than Ray. Simple fact.
    Ray has achieved greater TEAM success, but London has been a better player on worse teams.

  36. While I like London Fletcher and think he’s a hall of famer, he’s not quite at Ray Lewis level. I’m just keepin’ it 100 on this, but Ray Lewis is literally the heart and soul of the Ravens. London Fletcher won his ring with the Rams. I would still take London Fletcher on the Ravens if he was somehow available. He would instantly become the leader of our revamped defense.

  37. the fact that redskins fans even feel the need to compare fletcher to ray lewis tells u all u need to know. no one that knows football ever needs to justify rays career by comparing it to london fletchers because it speaks for itself. london fletcher, great middle linebacker…ray lewis, top five all time. no comparison.

  38. London Fletcher is an excellent player who was always overlooked until his mid-30’s. He’s probably played as good or better than Ray Lewis the last 2 or 3 years.
    That being said, people who say he’s been as good as Ray Lewis throughout his career are very short sighted. Although Ray and London’s career stats may be similar, you have to remember Ray Lewis won 2 DPOY’s before Reed, Suggs, and Ngata were stars. Ray was also the leader & on field coach for a defense that consistently ranked 1 or 2 for a decade long, and the leader of one of the greatest defenses of all time (2000). Lastly, ever heard of the Ray Lewis coaching tree? He’s literally turned 6 of his coordinators into head coaches. With the revolving door of ravens defensive coaches, Ray has consistently been the glue of the ravens D.
    While London may be a hall of famer in his own right and may have similar or better stats, he has not accomplished the feats mentioned above.

  39. Let’s see.

    Ray had these guys helping him.
    Terrel Suggs, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata.

    London had these players helping him.
    Error 404 Not found.

  40. I PLAYED the position, Ray was great but for those saying GREATEST LMAO. Over hyped!! Concrete Charlie, Sam Huff, Dick Butkus,Jack Ham(OLB) Dracula (The OTHER Jack…Lambert) Mike Singletary. Fletcher brings EVERYTHING to the table that Ray did except the double jointed elbow from caressing his own Ego, AND the mention of God in every sentence. The names above are ALL guys I put in front of him and I could go on. He AND Gurlacher were good serviceable players. Ray I DO put in the great category unlike Urlacher. But GREATEST? C’MON MAN?!?!!! No WAY!

  41. I’m not going to compare Fletcher to anyone…he’s London Fletcher, an underrated LB. So many big plays during his time as a Skin…turned so many possible TD’s into FG’s or turnovers.

  42. You skins fans are beyond delusional, the only reason London came back this year is because Ray retired and he knew how the voting was going to turn out. Everyone voting for RAY LEWIS GOAT MLB OF ALL TIME.
    That tackle stat isn’t accurate (teams track their own)
    Beside Ray have been on winning teams & He defensives were regarded as greatest of all time.
    London stats are more of lifetime achievement with nothing really to show for it. He will be in the Hall of Very Very Good. Not Hall of Fame

  43. People are right, Fletcher is no Ray Lewis, London’s never killed anyone.

  44. ravensdominate says: May 24, 2013 10:34 AM

    Redskin fans are so cute when they try and compare this nobody to the greatness of ray Lewis. Cracks me up.


    What cracks me up is the ravens fans inferiority complex to the skins. I understand that your team remains irrelevant even after being SB champs, and the skins get all of the press. As for the comparison to Ray Lewis, I will agree that there is no comparison, but where London does exceed over Ray is the classiness he shows to management, teammates, and the media. While I do see Ray as one of the best in the history of the league, his self promotion persona really tuned me out.

  45. “ray is in the discussion for greatest ever”, right, perhaps greatest ever hypocrite. All of his over the top religious crap is clearly trying to compensate for something, and everyone knows what that is.
    Ray will definately be left off of the big Pro Bowl ballot in the afterlife, – and he knows it.

  46. just cause someone says over and over and over how good they are doesn’t mean it’s so. butkus,nitsheke,huff,ham,lambert, singeltary,hendricks,TAYLOR(the actual GOAT),thomas,brooks that’s just off the top of my head. i don’t know where ray is but it sure as hell aint in the top five no matter how many times he stomps his feet and cries no,no,no, it’s not true.sorry ray, here’s your board, GET OFF MY LAWN.

  47. Cowboy hater: nueva hahahahahaha! We’re irrelevant?!?! Ok if you say so buddy. Inferiorority complex?!? The first comment on this thread is a sorry redskin fan trying to say London fletcher is better than ray Lewis. They have nothing to do with one another. The guy also doesn’t know his football. Ray played 17 seasons. London fletcher is entering his 16th.

    Sorry your sorry organization has been completely over shadowed by Baltimore since 96. Y’all are a joke. Talk about irrelevant, the cowboys and redskins take the cake. You’re whole existence as a fan is irrelevant.

    World Champs


  48. I don’t see how anyone can compare London Fletcher to Ray Lewis. Ray Lewis is IMO one of the top 5 lb’s of all time. I don’t even think London Fletcher is a top 5 lb in the league right now. Don’t get me wrong he is a great player but he is not on Ray’s level………and this is coming from a Steelers fan.

    P.S. This seems to be a Redskins fan board because most of the people stating the same thing as me are getting thumbs down but lets be honest. If you were starting a franchise and could pick between either Ray or London in their prime…….I guarantee 99% of you will pick Ray.

  49. Here’s the difference, London Fletcher may get into the Hall of Fame someday. Maybe on his 3rd or 4th try. Lewis will be the first name called in 5 years unanimously. End of discussion. That’s fact. Fletcher is a good MLB but honestly Urlacher, to me is above him. Honestly, when I think of greatness at the MLB position, his name escapes me and I don’t have a problem with the guy.

  50. i am not really sure what someone’s religious beliefs have to do with his football skills. if you dont like ray’s personality or beliefs thats up to you. to say he can be over the top is an understatement. as far as what you people think happened in atlanta, read the public documentation. no one died because ray lewis killed them…that has been proven. so comparing player to player, fletcher is great. but find me anyone who knows anything about the nfl that says fletcher is in lewis’ class…you wont because he’s not. again, fletcher is great….but not in the class of a ray lewis

  51. Fletcher is a class act – in fact in one of his pinkie fingernails, he has more class than all of the Dallas Cowboys, Mara Family, Philthydelphia Iggles, Pittsburgh Rusty Tampax, and New England Cheaters all wrapped up in one.

    If the rest of the league played like this guy, the injuries to players would be cut in half.

  52. He’s earned the right to continue to play if he wants to. As a Giants’ fan, he can come to the Meadowlands and wear Blue for us anytime.

  53. London is one hell of player and I’d take him any day over a guy like Ray Lewis. For one, you wouldn’t have to worry about him being involved in a homicide. Fletch is all class, and he is not about flash, he just does it out on the field and he’s still playing very good for a guy at the age of 38. Last year Ray looked like an old man and he was only 37. Ray is a first ballot HOF but Fletch should be there as well, no doubt, a man with great character and integrity.

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