Should the Philadelphia Eagles Target Free Agent Linebacker London Fletcher?

By Bryn Swartz

It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles lack a solid, or even average, corps of linebackers.

Rookie Casey Matthews was a colossal disappointment in 2011, and second-year player Jamar Chaney took a major step back this season. Rookie Brian Rolle had a productive season but he’s still a question mark, considering Chaney, who played well last season but struggled in all of 2011.

This offseason, the Eagles need to draft a linebacker, preferably in the first round. I wouldn’t mind if we also drafted one as high as the third round.

But here’s another idea: How about signing free agent London Fletcher?

Fletcher, who turns 37 in May, has been one of the most productive–and underrated–linebackers over the past decade.

In his 14-year NFL career, Fletcher has never missed a game. Not one. That’s 224 consecutive games played. The NFL record is 243, held by Bill Romanowski.

He led the league in tackles during the 2000s, and he has been selected to the last three Pro Bowls, after a well-deserved reputation as the best player to never make a Pro Bowl.

Although Fletcher probably only has two or three seasons left in his career, the Eagles need to win now, and I see absolutely no problem with bringing in a veteran linebacker who can also be a solid leader in the locker room.

Fletcher is nothing short of a tackling machine. I would love to see him on the Eagles. He’d be our best linebacker, and he would move our weakest defensive starter–Akeem Jordan–to the bench.

If the Eagles can sign Fletcher, they’ll have improved their defense tremendously. It’ll also be clutch to get Fletcher away from the division rival Washington Redskins.

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