After enduring a disappointing loss to the Packers on Sunday night, Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher will enter the offseason pondering his future.
Some Redskins players sat contemplating the end of the season inside their lockers, while others were quick to shower, dress and leave. In a much more solemn environment than in weeks past, defensive end Jason Hatcher stood and reflected. Taking his time buttoning his shirt sleeves and clipping on his earrings, he collected himself and turned around to face members of the media.
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While many of his teammates -- rookies getting their first taste of the playoffs, free agents hoping they can stay in Washington, veterans planning to build on this year -- will return home ruminating on the end of a season, a 35-18 playoff loss to the Packers at FedExField, Hatcher will return home determining if this game was the last of his career.
"I've been thinking lately about this being my last year, retiring," Hatcher said. "It's one thing I've got to pray about… I still love the game, but like I said, I have to pray and see what my family says about it."
"I hate it for the older guys, guys that might be thinking about hanging them up," linebacker Will Compton said. "I really wanted it for them. But we'll be back, there's no doubt in my mind and we're going to have a hell of an offseason, figure it out and continue to grow as a team and we have a lot of potential. We'll get it figured out."
Hatcher, who turns 34 before next year and finished his tenth NFL season on Sunday night, said he'll make his decision "pretty quick," but not before considering all options.
A big factor includes general manager Scot McCloughan, who re-shaped the Redskins roster this year, and spoke personally to Hatcher about his desire for the journeyman to return for another season.
"[Scot] said he wants me around," Hatcher said. "He's a great guy. I'm glad I met him. He believes in me as a leader and as a player, and it's hard to not come back. But at the same time, I have to do what's best for me and the family.
"We're going to be a heck of a football team. We're young, we have all the pieces together, and I'm pretty sure Scot is going to put some more pieces on this football team. All the guys he brings in are just good people and a hell of football players. He brought a lot of guys in off the street and he's just a special guy. I don't think there are anyone better then him, as far as picking out football players."
Hatcher played 15 games this season and tallied two sacks, though it was his leadership skills on the defensive line and in the locker room where his presence proved most valuable.
After battling with knee injuries in 2014, Hatcher returned to a familiar in-season workout regimen, which included missing a day of practice each week to help his body heal. That proved to be effective and gave Hatcher more confidence in his ability and more opportunities to play on Sundays.
"I definitely think I have another one in the tank," Hatcher said. "I just have to go this offseason, and if I do decide to come back, go and train with my trainer and stay there until it's time for me to report back. My body feels great right now. I don't feel too banged up. I've got some nicks here and there, but for the most part, I definitely have another year in me."