November 6, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher (59) is introduced prior to the Redskins game against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. The 49ers won 19-11. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Black Sheep of the Redskins

Last year, Dan Snyder followed behind Jerry Jones and started construction on the party decks in the nosebleed section of FedEx field. Once again, today Snyder and the Redskins joined forces with their worst enemy to fight the NFL’s decision to penalize both Washington and Dallas for excessive contracts signed last season (an uncapped year). The teams officially filed a grievance against the league today in rebuttal of the combined $46 million chisled off the salary caps of both clubs. Now rumors are coming out saying that the cap issues are halting progress with defensive captain London Fletcher.

Despite his “age” (and I use that term loosely), he has been one of the most, if not the most consistently productive player on the entire team for the past several years. My question is, why is it that someone of his caliber was not a first priority come the end of the season. He made it very clear on several occasions before his contract had expired, before the last season was done, that he wanted to remain a Redskin. He felt like there was “unfinished business” in Washington and didn’t want to leave. On top of that, the 36 year old linebacker led all of the NFL in tackles last year, and made it to his third Pro Bowl in a row (even if it was by default).

The release of safety Oshiomogho Atogwe was sort of shocking, considering the health issues with LaRon Landry and his contract. Yes, he had a lackluster season due to injuries, but many people in the league did last year. Not having a camp I’m sure had a lot to do with all the Achillies, hamstring and knee injuries all over the league. Then in less than 24 hours, the team signs WR Pierre Garcon to a $50 million deal, twice that of Atogwe.

Again, if they could do this, why wasn’t #59 a priority? (To quote Chris Rock in the movie Head of State, “That ain’t right.”)

Defensive end Adam Carriker was resigned to a $20 million deal that he worked his tail off to earn last season. OG Kory Lichtensteiger was resigned. Even QB Rex Grossman was resigned to a one year deal.

But no word on London. That ain’t right.

They went out of their way to sign another free agent wide receiver (Josh Morgan), and two free agent safeties (Brandon Meriweather and Cedric Griffin).

Still, when we ask about London, all we hear is crickets. That ain’t right.

I fail to believe that the cap penalty is the reason why they haven’t given Fletch whatever he wants to stay. He has gone above and beyond for this organization and still continues to play at a high level. When he hangs up his cleats, it will be because he has DECIDED to quit… not because a team has decided for him. To treat the man that put the entire defense on his back this way is unbelievable. We will find out in the coming weeks what will happen with Jer and Danny as they take up their issues with Roger Goodell in writing. If they get the cap money back (as they should), they need to give #59 as big of a signing bonus as they possibly can.

While they’re at it, they need to re-sign Hightower too.

 

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Tags: Free Agency London Fletcher Redskins

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