London Fletcher will play in Pro Bowl

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that inside linebacker London Fletcher has been named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster and will play in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu on Jan. 29. Fletcher, who led the NFL in tackles this season, was not initially named to the team when rosters came out two weeks ago, but he was among the alternates. His selection is likely the result of the knee injury Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered in Chicago's season finale. Urlacher and San Francisco's Patrick Willis were the two inside linebackers originally selected for the NFC Pro Bowl team.

It will be the third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance for the 36-year-old Fletcher, who was a consistent performer and an on- and off-field leader for the Redskins' defense in 2011. Fletcher is eligible to be a free agent at the end of this season, and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has called re-signing him a "top priority."

It's impossible to disagree with any of this. Fletcher should have been a Pro Bowler in the first place, and re-signing him should be a top priority for Shanahan, even as he's working on a rebuilding program and looking for younger players at other positions. Regardless of age, Fletcher is a special player and individual who brings a great deal to the Redskins' locker room as a teacher and example for teammates young and old.

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