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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

  • Mr.LesterHayes

    Lechler, as good as he is, couldn’t stop punting balls into the end zone last year. All I remember hearing is Greg Papa saying “Lechler with an Aussie-rules kick…..aaaaaaand it’s into the end zone for a touchback”.

  • willy91137

    How many games does he have to WIN TO keep his job\8\8

    7\9 6\10 have

  • joetoronto

    He did that more than just last year, IMO.

    It was all about his gross average it seemed.

  • Snakeinthegrass12

    What’s up Nation, new user here from the east coast.

    Been following the blog for a long time and thought I’d jump in.

    Been a fan since 84 Super Bowl watching as a 10 yr old, love the Silver and Black ever since.

    Look forward to being part of the conversation.

  • guest123

    Welcome to the blog Snake!

  • guest123

    It was all about his gross average it seemed.

    ********

    Right, his gross avg for his career was just over 47 yards per punt. He got within a whisker of his career avg last year. But the net was down.

  • joetoronto

    Howdy, Snake

  • willy91137

    Snakeintheggrass

    Welcome to the raider nation do you have all your stats down

    some guys in here all they know is numbers G dog is a master at it

    he made it clear to me that nap sucked

    but I didn’t need any numbers do tell me that

  • guest123

    Seems like a very reasonable contract that Houston got Shane for. Why didn’t Reggie at least have a talk or two or at least ask Shane to match if he wanted? Looks like Reggie’s idea of Shane’s worth is vet minimum. Maybe he’s taking this ‘outta wack’ contract purging a bit too far?

  • The_Judge37

    1704. Welcome. It’s important to establish on what side you’re on early. Are on Reggie’s side, or Al’s? DA or Hue? Palmer or Pryor?

    Note that there is no in between here, can’t just be a Raiders fan, you must choose.

  • RaiderSam

    RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit Says:
    March 22nd, 2013 at 10:20 pm
    The thing I like about DION JORDAN is his versatily and a rangy type player

    Can rush the passer.. and drop back in coverage and guard WR.. and TE’s in the slot

    =========

    Saw him in studio on NFL Network. Standing next to Willie McGinest, he looked llke a stick figure. He looks like a torn pectoral/shoulder injury waiting to happen. Still, he might be a good pick.

    pass

    take my chances on Ziggy or Floyd. Trading down would be even better.

  • RaiderSam

    The_Judge37 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:48 am
    1704. Welcome. It’s important to establish on what side you’re on early. Are on Reggie’s side, or Al’s? DA or Hue? Palmer or Pryor?

    Note that there is no in between here, can’t just be a Raiders fan, you must choose

    ==========

    I’m on the RAIDERS, side. hoping snakeinthegrass is, too.

  • boss01

    1693.boss01 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:29 am
    1691.RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:25 am
    Reggie better not whiff on any draft picks this coming draft, that’s all I will say

    ***

    who did he “whiff” on last year, Boss?

    Nathan Stupar in RD7 (230th overall). not bad. Didn’t even have his own scouting staff at that time

    ====

    Could have had Burfict in the 7th

    =====

    It’s not always about who you draft, it’s who you don’t draft. He also could have drated a stud RB in the 6th round, Alfred Morris.

    What Reggie is doing is following the Ted Thompson methodology in building a team through the draft. To do that, you need to hit home runs in each round, not little rollers you have to leg out. So far I am not impressed, Jack Crawford, Bergstrom, Stupar and Bilukidi to me are all misses.

  • willy91137

    The Shane wanted go to Texas he lives there . I don’t think Reggie would have went the vet M everybody fell in love with our kickers last year because that’s all we had

    half field goals that seabass kick we would turn them into touchdowns we been in the playoffs

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Guest123 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 7:35 am
    Too much of the blame is going to Knapp. When you evaluate the level of play of the individual battles, we lacked the talent but more importantly it looked like some guys lacked the motivation to win individual battles.

    Firing Greg Knapp isn’t the panacea that some think it is. A lot of guys failed him too, even if his vision of the offense was terribly flawed.

    *******************************************

    I usually agree with your takes but Knapp probably cost us several games. I watched the execution of the offense closely early in the season actually defending Knapp saying we have to give him time to prove himself and pointing out that Wiz had been injured and WRs kept getting injured and Barnes was injured and hard to get continuity. (I also did not know that our RG was playing injured).

    However after the bye week even in a competitve game with Atlanta you could see the offense was out of sync. It was like an ochrestra of muscians that were compentent in themselves but out of key with each other. That falls squarely on the OC.

    Would we have been good enough to make playoffs when you had a weak roster and a bunch of injuries like we did? An emphatic NO! However we probaby could have won 7-8 games with the 2011 offense in tact sans Boss who was not that big a part of it. Not having Satale back and trying to convert Wiz with no preseason hurt real bad too. Remember what happened:

    1. Lost both CBs in first few weeks
    2. Wiz coming off injuries not really practicing
    3. WRs nicked up and Ford out
    4. Seymour playing injured I use term playing liberally here
    5. Decline of Kelly
    6. We now know that our RG was playing injured and our right tackle was injured for much of the year and McKensies replacement sucked big time and Bergs or anyone else was not up for the job.

    All teams have to deal with injuries but when you have a thin roster and end up starting people like Gio at Safety – really really tough to win. So in a way I do agree but Knapp (I teach what I know philosphy) did hurt us that is for sure.

  • guest123

    I disagree with Reggie’s philosophy on penny pinching for kickers. When you punt as often as we do, you get huge value from a good punter. That alone adds an extra 10 yards and gives the defense a little more wriggle room to make mistakes and still get the ball back.

    I guess having a good punter on a bad team is a luxury.

  • The_Judge37

    I guess having a good punter on a bad team is a luxury.
    —-

    I disagree with this statement, having a good punter on a bad team isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessatiy.

  • ohioraider

    So what’s wrong with Marquette King?

  • Marks hair

    At least bring in some durable guys we can coach up.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Judge

    Lecheler is probably the best punter of all time but last year looked really bad for him – he was actually below average. Could it be he was breaking down? Why not get King in here and get a 7th rounder or best available UDFAs and have a competition? We save money and the outcome on the field may be similar or better. At his age we have to worry about injuries in the middle of the season and where whould that lead us?

  • guest123

    Nothing against Margaret King, but he’s no Shane. He’ll wow you with a 60 yard spiral and the next one may be a 20 yard shank. Shane was as consistent as they come. I don’t remember actually paying attention to his punts, they were so routinely fair caught or taken back for little gain. Shane was a weapon, maybe not as much last year, but a great weapon of solid consistency over the years.

  • Marks hair

    Punters grow on trees

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:25 am
    Reggie better not whiff on any draft picks this coming draft, that’s all I will say

    ***

    who did he “whiff” on last year, Boss?

    Nathan Stupar in RD7 (230th overall). not bad. Didn’t even have his own scouting staff at that time
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Draft:
    -26 yo rookie OL
    FA:
    -Most of his FA CBs
    -The 2 vet pass rushers (using the term pass rushers loosely)

  • guest123

    Shane had a down year for sure, but even at his age, he doesn’t look like he’s breaking down any. He plays a non-contact sport. He’s not going to age in football years like other positions.

    He’s played 14 seasons, and he said his goal is to make it to 20. I think he’s got another 6 good years in him.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    The_Judge37 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:02 am
    I guess having a good punter on a bad team is a luxury.
    —-

    I disagree with this statement, having a good punter on a bad team isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessatiy.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$

    It’s a luxury. What good is a 70 yards punt if your STs unit can’t cover or tackle?

  • RNOraiderFan

    You all hear about TE Windslow? Guy trying to be on the Raiders. I say heck no. Besides Ausberry is beast if he gets a chance.

  • guest123

    LOL at Kellen Winslow.

    He drops names of teams interested in him, and one of them, the Browns publically called him a liar. There was never any interest. I hope that the reported Raider interest is a lie too.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jack Crawford, Bergstrom, Stupar and Bilukidi to me are all misses.

    ***

    Boss,

    I think the jury is still out on Bergstrom, Crawford & Bilukidi. Just because they didn’t produce much as rookies, doesn’t mean they won’t in Year #2

    Thats just like writing Pryor off after 1 start, the first ever of his NFL career. too premature. Give me a larger sample size. Pryor should have started every game once we were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs & been #2 QB over Leinart from Day 1

    who knows though, if TP6 would have started Week 15 versus KC and lost (fat chance) it might have costed Dennis Allen his job

  • 1960AutumnWind

    #1723

    Tough crowd! I guess reggie should have used is supernatural powers to know the future of all and pluck all UDFAs and low round draft pics with awesome futures. He should have used his powers of persuasion and got Mario Williams in here on vet minimum. LOL. People on this board are so unrealistic at times…

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    The thing abut punters is you can say “boy, he’s the best, its not even close when you compare him to his peers”… yeah, yea, yeah, but how much does he help you win games?

    He is in there 4 or 5 times per game. Maybe he gets yo an extra 10 yards per punt. That production at 4 million per year? should have invested it in the O or D lines.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Punters grow on trees

    ***

    @ Marks Hair

    so do 4-12 QB’s !!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Jack Crawford, Bergstrom, Stupar and Bilukidi to me are all misses.
    $$$$$$$$$$$

    Bilukidi was a late round pick and he was on the field. Can’t call him a miss IMO.
    I agree about the rest so far.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    #1728

    Come on man. Those guys need to be starters and one needs to be probowl. I mean Tom Brady was a 6th. Buluki pic slot pic up should have been a hall of fame pic player. Like I said tough crowd!

  • ohioraider

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    #1723

    Tough crowd! I guess reggie should have used is supernatural powers to know the future of all and pluck all UDFAs and low round draft pics with awesome futures. He should have used his powers of persuasion and got Mario Williams in here on vet minimum. LOL. People on this board are so unrealistic at times…
    —————————
    Win now! Because I need you to! I don’t care how much you spend!

  • DJ Johnny

    Willy91137 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 8:25 am
    Tony Sparano

    Took Miami 1\15 to 11 wins the next year in the playoffs

    when he was with the tuna in Dallas they turned that team around in one year

    it happens and yes the patriots are like the Raiders of the 80s

    they know how to do it they have a little different offense every year

    they know the players do the best and they put them in that position

    that’s what’s going to happened here

    Way to go Willy.

    We need these positive posts every now and then for some balance if for nothing else.

    Guys will say “well other teams who turn things around quickly in a year never had the horrible cap situation Reggie inherited..it’s impossible to rebuild this dumpster fire in one yr. 3-5 yr. rebuild at least.”

    It may very well turn out that way, but we should expect better and not so easily tolerate excuses.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    #1734: Maybe we can do like Denver did in the late 90′s just overspend the Cap and win the superbowl. They will let us keep it and wont even put an asterik by it. I like it. Oh wait we are the Raiders no such treatment here.

  • Roch R

    I say if we can raise a billboard to have AD step down, we can start a campaign to bring Nnamdi back to Oakland…it just fits.

    Put Nnamdi back in Silver and Black!

    Go Raiders!

  • The_Judge37

    1725.Raider O Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:10 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:02 am
    I guess having a good punter on a bad team is a luxury.
    —-

    I disagree with this statement, having a good punter on a bad team isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessatiy.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$

    It’s a luxury. What good is a 70 yards punt if your STs unit can’t cover or tackle?
    ———

    Same reason you don’t come in and completely change a functioning and successful offense when you should be focusing on fixing the defense, why create more problems to fix?

    Focus on a better ST coach and gunners, rather than completely fk everything up

  • boss01

    1728.RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:14 am
    Jack Crawford, Bergstrom, Stupar and Bilukidi to me are all misses.

    ***

    Boss,

    I think the jury is still out on Bergstrom, Crawford & Bilukidi. Just because they didn’t produce much as rookies, doesn’t mean they won’t in Year #2

    Thats just like writing Pryor off after 1 start, the first ever of his NFL career. too premature. Give me a larger sample size. Pryor should have started every game once we were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs & been #2 QB over Leinart from Day 1

    who knows though, if TP6 would have started Week 15 versus KC and lost (fat chance) it might have costed Dennis Allen his job

    =====

    I guarantee you Crawford won’t produce. Not impressed with Bergstrom or Bilukidi so far, we’ll see, you will get your “sample size” this year. Almost a full draft.

  • ohioraider

    It isn’t just the cap. It was the culture. It was the complete infrastructure and hierarchy of the personnel. Even the computers.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    guest123 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:14 am
    LOL at Kellen Winslow.

    He drops names of teams interested in him, and one of them, the Browns publically called him a liar. There was never any interest. I hope that the reported Raider interest is a lie too.
    ************************************

    The Raiders have said they do not comment on prospective pic ups until something has happened. It makes them easy targets for this kind of thing with agents.

  • The_Judge37

    1720. I will use Guest123′s post 1721 as my answer.

  • DJ Johnny

    Ohioraider Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:16 am
    1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    #1723

    Tough crowd! I guess reggie should have used is supernatural powers to know the future of all and pluck all UDFAs and low round draft pics with awesome futures. He should have used his powers of persuasion and got Mario Williams in here on vet minimum. LOL. People on this board are so unrealistic at times…
    —————————
    Win now! Because I need you to! I don’t care how much you spend!

    I don’t think anybody wants to see Reggie ridiculously overpay for average talent, but it’s reasonable to expect progression in yr two of this regime.

    My jury is still out on Reggie. GM’s make mistakes and fail. There’s no guarantee Reggie is doing everything the “right way”.

    I’d like to hope he is doing MOST things the right way.

    I want him to succeed.

  • Roch R

    Nnamdi, Nnamdi, Nnamdi…. Oh wait, are we really debating the value of the punter??

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big lechler fan, and an even bigger sea bass fan, but really!?! The punter, with all we have to worry about, … Hold on, where was I ?? Oh yeah…

    Nnamdi, Nnamdi Nnamdi!!

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Boss

    Just to let you know it is considered a success if a 6th or 7th makes the roster. It is further considered even better if they contribute on ST and are active on some game days.

    Lets now check Crawford – Made Roster – check
    Helped on ST and active on game days – check

    A successful draft pic but will agree he has limited potential. Take Buluki. This guy does have potential and has actually been in rotation. Not only successful but potential as a starter very good draft pic. How about Streeter? Wheeler? Julio Hansen at the price he got him? Yea RM is just a bittering fool maybe we should have the Boss in there LOL.

  • DJ Johnny

    Roch R Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:22 am
    I say if we can raise a billboard to have AD step down, we can start a campaign to bring Nnamdi back to Oakland…it just fits.

    Put Nnamdi back in Silver and Black!

    Go Raiders!

    I’m thinking Nnamdi would want to have at least one season where he plays on a team with a winning record.

    His whole career it has not happened once.

    I’m sure he thought going over to the “dream team” was gonna solve that.

    Coming back to Oakland might not be his ticket…in his mind…to finally being on a winner.

  • DKnight007

    Gdog Says:
    March 24th, 2013 at 12:25 pm
    Just Fire Baby Says:
    March 24th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Gdog,

    Using your yards per game measure of defensive statistical rankings we have this from last year:

    -Carson Palmer throws for 4,000 yards, and goes 4-12 with the 18th ranked defense
    -Joe Flacco throws for 3,800 yards, wins the Super Bowl with the 17th ranked defense.

    >>>>>

    Baltimore’s defense came together late in the season much like Eli’s did for him a few years back. And GBs before that. Thats kind of what happens sometimes with 4000 yard passers…

    FIX THE DEFENSE and let Palmer throw his usual 4000 yards, see what happens.

    I wish Reggie would stop dumpster diving for a few vets to help the defense…

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Ravens also had running game, Raiders did not….and Ravens also had better OC’s than Knapp and Cam got fired after mid season and Caldwell was STILL better than Knapp.

    Plus Ravens defense made plays when needed and Ravens had a better WR Corp than Raiders.

    Ravens also had a better, more consistent OLine play.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Same reason you don’t come in and completely change a functioning and successful offense when you should be focusing on fixing the defense, why create more problems to fix?

    Focus on a better ST coach and gunners, rather than completely fk everything up
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

    You think it’s a good idea to rebuild the ST’s unit around a 37 yo punter who wants a good salary when we have cap issues and lack talent/ starters at many positions?
    I don’t.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    DJ

    I have never said RM is doing everyting right. I was critical he kept Seymour, also critical about Knapp but my critism is more hindsight not like others that forsaw this. I am also critical about Briesell – did not like that signing let alone restructuring. But when people get all huffy (pun intended) about him missing a on a 6th or 7th rounder that made the roster (yes made the roster) they are barking up the wrong tree.

  • DKnight007

    If McK drafts Floyd with that #3 pick….I’m going to be pissed.

    Especially when he can trade down and get more picks instead of reaching for a 3 tech DT…..Ugh