The top target by the Redskins signed his contract Saturday morning, after two mostly sleepless nights. He received a five-year, $25-million contract with a $10.5-million signing bonus.
‘’I’m excited because it’s finally has happened for me,’’ he said. ‘’I’m so excited.’’
The Redskins called him at 12:01 Friday morning and had him on a plane nine hours later, joined by Gregg Williams. He also spoke with Jerry Gray, Steve Jackson, Danny Smith and Al Saunders – all coaches he has been with in the past.
And he immediately fills a role in Washington as the quarterback of the defense. Fletcher replaces Lemar Marshall, who will be moved back outside.
‘’London gives us someone who plays every down and he plays sideline to sideline,’’ Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ‘’He’s extremely competitive.’’
They also like that Fletcher exudes confidence in the huddle, being able to sell the play call by the look in his eye. It’s a minor detail, but it’s a big thing for the coaches. So, too, is durability. Fletcher, entering his 10th season, has played in 103 straight games.
At 5-foot-10, 245 pounds, Fletcher lacks the typical dimensions of a middle linebacker. But he is known for his conscientious study habits.
‘’A fraction of an inch makes a difference,’’ he said, pointing out the difference between making a big play and not making one.
He also said this is where he wanted to be.
‘’It’s one of the all-time great franchises in the history of the NFL,’’ he said. ‘’When I looked at the roster, the coaches and the potential I see, this team is not far off from returning to their glory days.’’
Update: Offensive lineman Leonard Davis and corner Travis Fisher both visited Saturday, but nothing is imminent, according to coach Joe Gibbs. Davis left in the late afternoon. Davis had lunch with quarterback Jason Campbell at Sweetwater Tavern in Ashburn. Campbell, though, wasn't stuck with a big bill: Davis' stomach wasn't feeling too good.
Smoot: Corner Fred Smoot still has not signed a contract and left in the late afternoon as well. Smoot was optimistic Friday night about a deal getting done, but as of Saturday evening, nothing had been signed.