Texans sign former Raiders punter Shane Lechler
Although the seven-time Pro Bowler Shane Lechler is coming off a subpar season by his standards after averaging 47.2 yards per punt last year with the Oakland Raiders, he still has a has a current 47.5-yard career punting average which ranks the second-highest in NFL history.
“Words can’t describe this. Getting to come home and play football, man, this is a dream come true,” said Shane Lechler at Reliant Stadium on Saturday. “I was fortunate enough to play in the Silver and Black for 13 years and had a great time doing it.”
“I always followed the Texans since they brought the franchise here. It’s just something that I’ve been looking forward to for a while.”
This is not the first time that the Houston Texans have pursued the nine-time All-Pro punter on the free agent market. They had serious interest in Shane Lechler before he re-signed with the Oakland Raiders, who originally drafted him in the fifth round of the 2000 draft. Shane Lechler became the league’s highest paid punter, signing with the Oakland Raiders on a four-year, $16-million contract in 2009. The 36-year-old Shane Lechler led the NFL in punting average five times during the stretch with the Oakland Raiders.
“When I hit free agency this year, I knew there was one place that I had in mind, and that was here,” said Shane Lechler. “Luckily, it worked out; the situation has worked out. Everything fell into place.”
Shane Lecher visited the Houston Texans on Thursday. He replaces veteran punter Donnie Jones, who tied 11th in the league with Shane Lecher averaging 47.5 yards per punt last season. Donnie Jones remains an unrestricted free agent following his only season with the Houston Texans.
Shane Lechler had arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus in his left knee early during training camp last season but he said “I feel way better than I did before the surgery.”
“One of my goals is to go 20 years, so I’ve still got a while to go,” added Shane Lechler. “I feel like I can do it with no problem, barring any injury that comes out of nowhere.”