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Shane bids fond farewell to Raiders

Shane Lechler is going home, while at the same time finding it hard to leave home.

The seven-time Pro Bowl punter agreed to terms Friday with the Houston Texans, and said in a phone interview he will sign the contract Saturday. His departure, at age 36 and with a team looking to cut costs, is not a surprise.

“When I had zero contract talks throughout the year, or to this date _ to now _ yeah, I figured it was done,’’ Lechler said.

ESPN reported Lechler would receive a $1 million bonus and a maximum of $5.5 million over three seasons _ dramatically more than the Raiders plan on paying Marquette King, who was retained on injured reserve last season when it became clear they were going in a different direction in 2013.

When Lechler was last up for free agency following the 2008 season, the Texans were poised to strike, only to be foiled when late owner Al Davis kept Lechler on the Raiders with a four-year, $16 million contract _ the most ever paid to a punter.

Four years later, it was clear the Raiders were moving in a different direction, and so was Lechler.

“It was somewhere I’ve wanted to play. This is home for me. I don’t have to move my kids back and forth to school, and they’re at an age where it affects them a little bit,’’ Lechler said. “My family is here. My wife’s family is here. I’ve got both sets of grandparents still alive and they can come to games.

“It wasn’t the easiest thing leaving Oakland. Having been there 13 years, it’s hard to walk away from, especially with the friends I’ve made. It’s just time, I think.’’

Lechler is forever indebted to Al Davis for making him a fifth-round draft pick the same year he took place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, making him essentially the heir to the throne of Ray Guy as an all-time great punter for both the Raiders and the NFL.

At the same time, Lechler didn’t shy away form criticism when he disagreed with the direction of the franchise _ something he said he learned from Davis.

“I think it was my second year in the league. I asked him a question and I made the mistake of telling him what I thought he wanted to hear and he said, `Shane, as long as we have a relationship, and it’s a good one, do not tell me what you think I want to hear. Tell me what you think.,’’ Lechler said.

“We had our differences about coaches, differences about special teams coaches. But he let me speak my mind and yet he did what he was going to do. I could only honor that and appreciate that from him.’’

Lechler said he came to respect Davis’ inclination to operate as he pleased, without being influenced by outside opinion.

The repeated “tuck rule’’ references from the ruling this week that erases the rule that doomed the Raiders in 2001 against the Patriots will never be forgotten.

“That was a moment in time where you think, `God, the NFL hates us,’ ‘’ Lechler said.

As far as the future of the franchise, Lechler will leave the details to general manager Reggie McKenzie but admits to some reservations.

“I can see where a lot of good parts got out of there,’’ Lechler said. “Somebody that flourished in the last year-and-a-half like (tight end) Brandon Myers, to let him get away, is kind of a shock to me. But I guess Reggie has a plan to build this team the way he wants and I wish him the best of luck.’’

Regarding his experience with the Raiders, Lechler said, “There was just so many things that were really, really good about it. And though we didn’t have the success the last 10 years, it was still one of those things, you still went out every Sunday with a lot of pride and played as hard as you could. Sometimes it didn’t just work out for us.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Charlie

    You really can not draw any conclusions from what you read in the media regarding a team’s draft intentions.

    Suffice it to say, each NFL team has a pretty good idea of what other teams weaknesses are and what they will do in the draft.

  • The_Judge37

    Charlie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:41 am
    All of this recent discussion is why I have said that regrettably this is going to take till 2014 for us to be relevant again.
    ———

    Don’t give these guys such an early cop-out.

    Revoke the Pass in 2013!!!!

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Is Palmer still around?

  • dr_robert

    This year should be treated as a try-out year. Just sit back and see if there are any new players u like. It’s all we can do. Hope we find a few keepers. Maybe, just maybe, if the defense plays solid, as a unit, and the running game picks up, our 4k passer can help us pull a colts and go 10-6. Granted, 6-10 is more likely. But I actually like the idea of rooting for a whole new team rather than hoping the same garbage will turn to gold somehow.

    In with the new, out with the old!

  • dr_robert

    Is Kell still around?

  • raidertbone

    Hi everyone, remember me?
    I am the quarterback for the New York Jets – but this is not about me …
    I just want to take this opportunity to congratulate Wichita State on their fine performance in the NCAAs. I know I am wearing a “Florida” t-shirt and I have never been to Wichita (I’m sure it’s a lovely place!), but you guys are AWESOME and an inspiration to us all. I just had to take a few minutes from my private plane and entourage to tell you all that – but this is not about me …
    Did I mention that I am the quarterback for the New Your Jets? But remember – this is not about me … and to all the GMs out there in the NFL – call me, I’m your guy. I will do anything I can to make your team better – but this is not about me …

  • dr_robert

    Porter and Jenkins would be a solid combo

  • raidertbone

    Word out of Jacksonville is that the Jags are ready to part ways with Gabbert, who they are now referring to as “Blame Gabbert”. That means Geno goes #2, which means we have no trade partner. We just have to focus on defense now and get a stud!

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Raidertbone Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:56 am
    Word out of Jacksonville is that the Jags are ready to part ways with Gabbert, who they are now referring to as “Blame Gabbert”. That means Geno goes #2, which means we have no trade partner. We just have to focus on defense now and get a stud!

    =======================================

    Taking a QB in the first round for the second time in three years? I guess we know where Matt Millen landed…

  • Charlie

    Judge

    I would love to.

    The lack of picks this year and last and our cap mess says I can not.

    Compound that with the extreme lack of talent we have had on this roster for the last decade and it is a multi year fix.
    Three year minimum I am afraid.

  • guest123

    Taking a QB in the first round for the second time in three years? I guess we know where Matt Millen landed…

    ^^^^^^^^^

    Reminder that Jags have all new leadership in place. The current GM didn’t draft Blame Gabbert, they are cleaning up after someone elses mess.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Raidertothebone

    Even if that were true still have teams that may want Millner or one of the two big LTs that will be left over. I never thought Geno was a practical trade up target execpt for the possibility (remote)of Buffalo trading up. This whole thing might be a smokescreen to get Buffalo to trade up to #2. If Buffalo does that for Geno all I can say is I hope they are on our schedule soon.

  • R8ER MIKE

    Bill Williamson @espn_afcwest 1s
    #Raiders Talking to CB Tracy Porter
    ***************************************
    SIGN POTET !!!!

  • willy91137

    Yeah I remember saying the same thing about the JMarcus Russell

    Sure he could be the best thing since sliced bread

    We don’t need a quarterback right now

    Mackenzie will get us one

    Reggie would probably like to find one that can set on the bench for a couple years

    like Aaron Rodgers . After the Russell pick Raider fans are a little gun shy.

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Guest123 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    The current GM didn’t draft Blame Gabbert, they are cleaning up after someone else’ mess.

    ========================================

    A situation not unfamiliar to us right now…

  • inonewordraider

    all signs point to us not drafting millner (tracy porter, terence newman, mike jenkins)

    so it’s star geno or a pass rusher

    more likely star or a pass rusher with cp and tp

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    KoolKell Says:
    Is Palmer still around?
    ========================================================

    Yes, Old Kooky One, and after the, ahem,’competition’ at QB, you’ll either have the smash mouth, power blocking, play action, vertical game you say you want the Raiders to return to, or the “Run and Tweet”.

  • RaidingTexas

    Rotoworld:

    The Raiders have reportedly been “talking to” free agent CB Tracy Porter. The Dolphins also recently “made an inquiry” on Porter. The 26-year-old corner played for Raiders head coach Dennis Allen in New Orleans, and Oakland is in dire shape in the secondary. Porter should be amenable to a cheap deal. Mar 25 – 3:01 PM

  • RaiderRich510
  • DutchRaider77

    So many mock drafts have us taking Shariff Floyd?

    Just saw that the Cheifs are bringing him in for private workout.

    “Floyd has been rising up draft boards all draft season and he has finally found a comfortable spot in the top three. Whether it be Kansas City, the Jacksonville Jaguars or Oakland Raiders, it is very likely that one of those three teams will pull the trigger on the Gators star when they are on the clock.”

    Crazy how things change.

  • R8ER MIKE

    Purvisman,
    hows life in the llama nursery ??

  • willy91137

    Porter would be a good fit if he has played for Dennis Alan

    He knows what he expects

    He knows what kind of defense he plays I guess his agents out of town or something. IF I WAS Porter I would fire the agent

  • guest123

    There’s a lot of poker faces and smokescreens out there at the top of the draft board. Teams trying to coerce rich trade-up packages, jockeying for position on trade down scenarios.

    It’s all good fun, faily entertaining. But some of these GM’s paint themselves into a corner.

    Buffalo cut their starting QB and are openly declaring that they are going to get their QB savior in the draft.

    NY Jest are desperate for a starter and the signing of ancient David Garrard does nothing to put out the grease fire in the big apple.

    Arizona pretty much admitted they have no QB, throwing all their QB’s under the bus.

    Jacksonville calls their incumbent QB “Blame Gabbert”

    One or more of these teams is going to strike out and not get the QB they had hoped for. What’s their fallback position? “Oh, you misunderstood the phrase ‘Blame Gabbert’. That was just saying that everyone blamed Gabbert, but it was unfair and he’s really our franchise QB”

    It will be interesting to hear the post draft spin doctors at play.

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    New post.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Willy

    I think it was Terrance Newman that can not find his agent. If Tracy Porter is having the same problem that would be really weird. Newman was the first person I have ever known to use Twitter to find his agent. Can anyone else remember something like this?

    It kind of reminded me of the time Moss was trying to bail out his agent. Usually the other way around with players.

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    R8ER MIKE Says: Purvisman,
    hows life in the llama nursery ??
    ========================================================

    The two boys born here doing fine, the six week old motherless girl(adoptee) hanging tough. One due anytime, last one about 5-6 weeks out.
    Thanx for asking.

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