Washington Redskins: Top 30 players in franchise history
By Ian Cummings
There’s a widely accepted theory in the NFL; the theory of the positional shelf-life. There are outliers, but many positions have generic shelf-lives: Time periods where we can reasonably predict when a player will peak, and when a player will regress.
Running backs typically have the shortest careers. Kickers and punters typically have the longest. And more often than not, the peak is lined up in the middle, with the slopes on either side symmetrical, equidistant to each other. Teams make projective decisions with this theory, and this trend, in mind.
But London Fletcher puts this theory to shame.
Fletcher entered the league as an undrafted free agent, signing with the St. Louis Rams. As a middle linebacker, Fletcher was the team’s most prolific rookie, and in just his second year, Fletcher became the starter at the position.
For a long time, playing with the Buffalo Bills and the Rams, Fletcher was a high-end starter. But Fletcher ultimately wouldn’t earn a Pro Bowl berth until he joined the Redskins. By that time, Fletcher was 32 years. But, if I may use the fine wine cliché, he got better with age.
Fletcher earned four straight Pro Bowl berths from 2009 to 2012, notching his last one at the age of 37. By the time he retired in 2013, Fletcher had amassed almost 1,000 tackles in a Redskins uniform, and over his entire career, he’d totaled over 2,000. One of the most active and long-lasting defenders of the modern era, Fletcher’s resume, as well as his modest origin, makes him impossible to forget.