London Fletcher didn’t make his first Pro Bowl until he was 34 years old.
That was his third year with the Washington Redskins. Already a seasoned pro when he came to DC, Fletcher had been a Pro Bowl alternate a couple of times after building a reputation as an undersized (5’10”) but excellent middle linebacker during stops with the Rams and Bills. After winning a title with St. Louis, he moved on to Buffalo for several years before signing with the Redskins prior to the 2007 season.
He made an instant impact, helping the Redskins to the playoffs during a tumultuous year that saw the team endure the unimaginable heartache of the death of Sean Taylor. Fletcher established himself as the leader of the Redskins defense by the end of that campaign, continuing to solidify his reputation season after season.
Finally, in 20009—his twelfth season in the league—Fletcher made the Pro Bowl.
Honestly, ‘09 wasn’t much different statistically from what he had been doing for a decade. He piled up 95 tackles, a couple of sacks, and an interception. I guess what changed was that, at long last, he went from being an unsung hero to getting the recognition had deserved for a long time.
Fletcher didn’t stop there. He made another Pro Bowl in 2010. And another in 2011. And another in 2012, as the Redskins won the NFC East during the magical rookie seasons of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. Fletcher registered a career-high five interceptions that year to go along with three sacks and 78 tackles.
In 2013, at age 37, Fletcher played his final season. As usual, he started every game and put up solid numbers. He finished his career with the Redskins having played—and started—112 games. Not bad for a guy who joined the team after turning 30.
He wrapped up his career with an amazing 215 consecutive games started, good for sixth all-time in NFL history, and most for any linebacker. He also played in an incredible 265 consecutive games, behind only Jeff Feagles (a punter), Brett Favre, and legendary defensive end Jim Marshall.
Washington may have been the third stop in Fletcher’s NFL career, but the fans embraced him wholeheartedly. He wound up playing more years (and games) with Washington than his other two teams. The franchise also named him one of the 80 Greatest Redskins during the team’s 80th anniversary celebration. Oh, and he also won a Bart Starr Man of the Year Award along the way.
In a well-earned salute to a gritty, tough, classy competitor, London Fletcher is the Redskins’ all-time #59.
Agree? Disagree? Vote and comment below!
Who is the greatest #59 in Redskins history?
This poll is closed
Other (comment below)