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What's next for Redskins if Fletcher retires?

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Posted Jan. 17, 2013 @ 5:49 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Redskins ILB London Fletcher played at a high level down the stretch, earning the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month for December with some lofty production: 51 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks in five games during the Redskins’ 5-0 run to the playoffs.

It’s possible Fletcher might have left the game on a high note then. Although he has yet to announce his intentions, Fletcher could retire. His body took an intense physical toll this season, with 15 seasons — and zero missed games along the way — adding up.

Fletcher turns 38 in May. Sources indicate he will not make a decision while he’s still recovering from the season, although from the sound of his emotional postgame speech after the playoff loss to the Seahawks, some teammates feel he might walk away.

The Redskins obviously would feel the loss. It’s not clear if what they have on the roster includes his long-term replacement. Perry Riley is fine in one ILB spot, and he grew this season, but Lorenzo Alexander or Keenan Robinson might not be the answer if Fletcher retires.

Alexander would be fine and capable as a short-term replacement, but he’s 29 and has little upside from where he has performed to this point. Robinson showed little to say he definitely would be the guy to fill that spot long term, although he does have untapped talent.

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