"But according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the matter, the Eagles told Fletcher at his season-ending meeting that they want him back next season."
Fletcher is one of ten Eagles free agents this offseason, so the team will have to make a decision on him. Most Eagles fans would suggest that the decision should be easy: let him walk in free agency. This report seems to suggest the team has other plans.
Before you prepare to jump off a cliff, let's talk about this report a little more.
Why it makes sense
On the surface, this report doesn't make any sense. Fletcher struggled mightily in 2014 and the Eagles need to upgrade. But just because the team wants to re-sign him doesn't mean he would be guaranteed a starting role. The Eagles could be interested in retaining him as a depth player. Fletcher might not have the same interest, so he could opt to move on.
Another thing to consider is that talk is cheap. The Eagles may have said they want Fletcher back, but that doesn't really mean anything. Their actions will prove if they want him back or not.
Why it doesn't
As I just said, this report doesn't make much sense because Fletcher was bad last season. Per Pro Football Focus, no cornerback allowed more yards (1,072) to opposing pass catchers. He also allowed nine touchdowns, which was the second most by any cornerback. What made Fletcher's struggles even worse was that they were a big factor in why the team lost to the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins down the stretch.
And it's not as if the team is high on Fletcher. The veteran cornerback was benched during the Washington game. He also didn't play in the season finale due to "injury reasons."
It's not very likely Fletcher returns to the Eagles next season. He struggled and the team knows they need to find an upgrade. The only way Fletcher returns is if he finds himself in a similar situation to how the Eagles handled safety Nate Allen last offseason. The Eagles let Allen test the free agent market, while exploring other safety options in the meantime, before re-signing him on the cheap to a one-year deal. Allen wasn't guaranteed a starting job upon his return, either. He had to beat out second-year safety Earl Wolff, which didn't prove to be too difficult. If Fletcher does return, the Eagles would hope to challenge him harder than Wolff challenged Allen.
More likely than not, Fletcher won't be back.