London Fletcher announces retirement

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Fletcher announced Wednesday that he will almost certainly retire after the 2013 season. He is in the midst of his 16th season in the NFL.

London Fletcher announced Wednesday that he is "99 percent certain" he will retire from the NFL after the 2013 season, his 16th in the league. Fletcher is one of the most prolific linebackers football has ever seen, playing 254 consecutive regular season games at the position, with two games left to play this year. Over the course of his career, he was named to the Pro Bowl four times, All-Pro twice and won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams during the 1999-2000 season.

Fletcher earned a reputation as one of the hardest working players in the NFL during his time with the Rams, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. The Redskins' teased major player announcement Tuesday came as somewhat of a shock given Fletcher's apparent affinity for football, but there's no denying that he is one of the elder statesmen of the game.

This season, he is second on the team with 98 total tackles, behind Perry Riley's 103. Despite recent drama surrounding head coach Mike Shanahan and the Redskins being in the middle of of a 3-11 campaign, Fletcher defended the coach Wednesday, saying Shanahan is "definitely the right guy" for the team.

Fletcher ranks sixth all-time with 1,436 career NFL tackles. Just ahead of him are Kyle Clifton (1,468 tackles), Junior Seau (1,524), Clay Matthews Jr. (1,561), Ray Lewis (1,573) and Jessie Tuggle (1,640).

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