Washington legends Brian Mitchell and London Fletcher are among the 129 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2023, the NFL announced on Tuesday.
Mitchell, who played 10 of his 14 seasons with Washington from 1990-99, and Fletcher, who signed with Washington as a free agent in 2007 and spent the final seven seasons of his 16-year career with the franchise, had two of the most distinguished careers in the organization's history and were among the best in their respective positions in several categories.
Mitchell joined Washington as a fifth-round pick after a successful college career at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). While he was a contributor in the running game, Mitchell was known more for his unique skills as a return specialist. He is the franchise's leader in punt returns (3,476) and kickoff returns (9,586). Those numbers made him one of the most potent weapons in league history, as his 23,330 all-purpose yards are the second most behind Jerry Rice by just 216 yards. Three of the top five players in the category, including Rice, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith, are all in the Hall of Fame.
Mitchell helped the team win its third Super Bowl and was named to a Pro Bowl in addition to three All-Pro selections.
Fletcher had a highly successful NFL career but had some of his best seasons with the Burgundy & Gold. He was selected to four straight Pro Bowls from 2009-12 and paced the league with 166 tackles in 2011. Fletcher recorded at least 100 tackles in 14 of his 16 seasons and played in 256 consecutive games, including 215 consecutive starts, which is the most for a linebacker in NFL history.
For his career, Fletcher recorded 2,039 tackles, which is the second-most in NFL history, 39 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries, 19 forced fumbles, 96 pass breakups and 23 interceptions.
Ten other players who spent time with Washington were also nominated:
- WR Henry Ellard
- WR Irving Fryar
- QB Donovan McNabb
- RB Shaun Alexander
- FB Larry Centers
- WR/RB Eric Metcalf
- G Mark Schlereth
- LB Jessie Armstead
- CB Troy Vincent
- P Matt Turk