In the new, modern age of social media, who needs a press release?
London Fletcher, captain of the Washington Redskins defense, announced himself via Twitter Friday afternoon that he did, indeed, re-sign with the team, agreeing to a deal in time to participate in off-season workouts that start Monday at Redskins Park.
Fletcher, from his verified account, tweeted: “Redskins fans your captain is back! #HTTR # Resign59”
Reports with knowledge of the deal have confirmed Fletcher’s new deal, which should be officially announced by the Redskins soon.
Fletcher, 37 next month, has spent the last five seasons with the Redskins and is, without question, the heart and soul of the defense. He has played 224 consecutive games over 14 years and led the NFL in tackles last season.
Perhaps the confusion around the Redskins salary cap issues contributed to the delay in re-signing the veteran linebacker, but with Fletcher back in the fold now the Redskins front seven looks to be a strength for the team.
In addition, the Skins inked two more defensive backs this week: eight-year veteran Madieu Williams (U.Md.) and five-year veteran Tanard Jackson, who has played his entire NFL career for Raheem Morris, the former Tampa Bay head coach and new Redskins defensive backs coach.
Below is bibliographic information for Williams and Jackson, from the Redskins press releases for both.
Williams (6-1, 203) was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round (56th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Maryland. In eight NFL seasons, he has played in 103 regular season games with 86 starts, and recorded 498 tackles, 12 interceptions, 43 passes defensed, four recovered and forced fumbles and 4.5 sacks.
Last season, Williams played in 15 games with three starts for the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to joining San Francisco, he played three seasons (2008-10) for the Minnesota Vikings, earning the 2010 Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his service to community, both in the U.S. and overseas. He spent his first four seasons (2004-07) with Cincinnati, earning USA Today All-Joe Team honors in 2006.
Williams played collegiately at Towson State (Md.) before transferring to Maryland as a walk-on. He started 27 games during his final two seasons with the Terps, earning second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2003.
Jackson (6-0, 200) spent his previous five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being selected in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. He has started all 56 regular season games in which he has appeared, and recorded 239 tackles, 10 interceptions, five forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.
Last season, Jackson started in 10 games and registered 35 tackles, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and three passes defensed, according to NFL GSIS.
In 2009, Jackson tied for the team lead in interceptions (five) despite missing four games. Coaches credited him with a career-high 102 tackles in 2008, a season in which he started in all 16 regular season games.
As a rookie, Jackson started in all 16 regular season games as a member of the Buccaneer’s defense that finished second in the NFL in yards allowed per game (278.4) and first in passing yards allowed per game (170.5).
Jackson played collegiately at Syracuse where he was a second-team All-Big East selection at cornerback as a senior. He appeared in 45 games with 34 starts and totaled 165 tackles, 2.5 sacks, five interceptions and 14 passes defensed. Jackson attended Bullis School in Potomac, Md.
Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.