Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher has no intention of turning his 2013 season into a farewell tour.
The 38-year-old is in the final year of his contract, but he’s not looking beyond it. Fletcher every offseason reevaluates his decision to continue his playing career, and after he decided to do so earlier this year, he’s concerned with improving on last season’s division championship and playing better defense as a unit.
“I’m really focused on this season, playing the best ball I can play,” he said. “That’s really how I look at it.”
Fletcher’s agent, Ben Dogra, said in March that Fletcher seriously considered retiring after playing in his fourth straight Pro Bowl. Fletcher had elbow and left ankle surgeries in March, the first surgeries of his career.
But his decision to play a 16th season resulted from a set of one-sided factors, which he reeled off after an organized team activity in May.
“The desire to continue to play, still playing at a high level; the team still wanted me to play, so a lot of things come into play,” Fletcher said. “I still love the game of football. Also, I like where this team is at. I like the makeup of it.”
Fletcher had already committed to playing this season by April’s draft, so he was able to enjoy the additions of three defensive backs and an outside linebacker to a unit that ranked 26th in the NFL last season in yards surrendered per play.
“Anytime you can add depth to your team, competition, that’s a good thing,” he said. “I know they feel great about the draft picks, the guys they were able to add. Those guys are coming along each and every day. From that standpoint, I think they’re going to help us be a better team, play better defense.”