Part of the Bay Area News Group

Shane bids fond farewell to Raiders

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 9:09 pm in Oakland 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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  • DJ Johnny

    Ohioraider Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:24 am
    It isn’t just the cap. It was the culture. It was the complete infrastructure and hierarchy of the personnel. Even the computers.

    I heard that interview w/ Jeff Garcia from Sirius and he talked about the “culture” of Raiders when he was here for that brief period in camp a few yr’s back and he was trying to be nice about it, but he talked about there being a lot of guys that really weren’t committed to winning…I think he used the words “check cashers”.

    I don’t know if making the players watch old NFL films stories of the old Raiders…or having some ex players like Villapiano or someone would help or not.

    I always thought that our new guys would be “briefed” on all that stuff and it would somehow inspire them to really be into being a Raider..and not just cash checks and/or try to get out of here the first chance they get.

  • willy91137

    what happened last year with the offense of coordinator wanted to put in an offens

    that the Texans run with zone blocking West Coast and the players here weren’t right for that offense

    you can’t come in and just install an offense and have the players perform it just doesn’t happen . you’re not making a movie

    a lot of coaches try to do that

    Al Davis used to do it you can do it in the 80s you can’t do that now . your did worry about salary you got the players you needed for your offense you can’t do that now

    look at the patriots every year their offense is a little bit different last year they run the ball more than I’ve ever seen them run it and watched him this year didn’t pay Wes Welker, a ton of money they’ll make that offense work without him

    person on that team that they won’t get rid of IS THE quarterback

  • The_Judge37

    1748.Raider O Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:35 am
    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.

    I do, he’s a consistent, successful punter who can kick still kick for at least 5 more yrs. What more do you want? He’s making less than 2 million, which is right where he should be at.

    I’m all for saving money as long as they use else where. I’m not comfortable however losing someone who does affect the game just to sign 3 practice squaders

  • CJ Legend 34

    Yeah he throws for 4000 yards but he did not protect the football. INTs at the worse posisble moments. Killing drives or field position where we could have settled for field goals.

    Not a Palmer fan!
    ——————————
    1747.DKnight007 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:35 am
    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.

  • Charlie

    How did the Raiders offense look in 2011 down the stretch?

    Guys look back on that 2011 team like it won the Super Bowl.
    It finished the season $30 million over the cap and gave away three of its top four draft picks for the next two seasons.

    Our offense was dominated when it counted.(See Packers, Chefs and Dolphins). See the Lions game when we could not run out the clock.
    See the Chargers game when they build a 31-16 lead and go to the prevent defense.
    That team was 2-4 against playoff competition.

    As Wind has said many times-you have to watch the games.

  • Roch R

    For all the Reggie bashing vs Reggie love, I think we can all agree with the moves made we have a punchers chance at making the playoffs, and the romantic raider fan in me can’t help but dream that Dmc in a power running attack, finally living up to potential, matched with a very serviceable Palmer, could make for a dangerous O…paired with a no name blue collar lunch box D, could do some damage…

    Or we could simply suffer through a rebuild yr, but I can’t help but think if we can avoid injuries, that would expose our serious lack of depth, could be a Cinderella kinda yr

  • 1960AutumnWind

    #1750

    I hope he trades down but it takes two to tango on that one. May not be an opportunity to trade down or maybe a really bad offer is all that is available. If they have to pic at 3 they are going to have to draft best player available at a non need position (LT) or be reaching for a player not worthy of a 3rd rounder (DTs or DEs or a QB) or they can take Millner which is probably good enough to be a 3 but we have bigger needs. Man I hope we trade out of that and get some more pics.

  • DKnight007

    RaiderRetribution Says:
    March 24th, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    If we can’t trade down, Reggie will draft an OLineman. He wants a first round player on the Raiders OLine, he knows the Raiders need one. It would make it one of the best in the NFL.

    Fisher & Joeckel would give us the best bookend set of OTs, whichever one is drafted to play opposite of Vehldeer; Warmack would actually improve Vehldeer & Wisniewski from a top ten in the NFL to all-pro.

    I don’t know in what order Reggie & Dennis have them. #3 overall is going to be:

    Fisher
    Joeckel
    or
    Warmack.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Im okay with a trade down and getting Warmack 5-6 picks later.

  • Dakota

    DHB visiting Colts…poor Andrew Luck!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I do, he’s a consistent, successful punter who can kick still kick for at least 5 more yrs. What more do you want? He’s making less than 2 million, which is right where he should be at.

    I’m all for saving money as long as they use else where. I’m not comfortable however losing someone who does affect the game just to sign 3 practice squaders
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    $2 million is a lot IMHO for a 37 yo punter on a bad team with cap issues when you can sign a LB like DJ Williams for less than $1 million or a vet CB for the min.

  • DKnight007

    Charlie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:40 am
    How did the Raiders offense look in 2011 down the stretch?

    Guys look back on that 2011 team like it won the Super Bowl.
    It finished the season $30 million over the cap and gave away three of its top four draft picks for the next two seasons.

    Our offense was dominated when it counted.(See Packers, Chefs and Dolphins). See the Lions game when we could not run out the clock.
    See the Chargers game when they build a 31-16 lead and go to the prevent defense.
    That team was 2-4 against playoff competition.

    As Wind has said many times-you have to watch the games.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Need some help from the D buddy every now and then to close out and even stay in games no?

  • willy91137

    84 Raiders were the best Raiders tem made all-pro offensive line 2 of the best corners in NFL one of the fastest wide receivers and are broken down quarterback named Jim Plunkett he wasn’t pretty but he won in one of the best defensive lines
    that came to play press coverage all day they could shut down both of your receivers they could rush for and get to the quarterback the last piece of the puzzle

    when he got Haynes from the patriots

  • The_Judge37

    Roch R Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:41 am
    For all the Reggie bashing vs Reggie love, I think we can all agree with the moves made we have a punchers chance at making the playoffs, and the romantic raider fan in me can’t help but dream that Dmc in a power running attack, finally living up to potential, matched with a very serviceable Palmer, could make for a dangerous O…paired with a no name blue collar lunch box D, could do some damage…
    —–

    They better. #RevokeThePass2013

  • DJ Johnny

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:35 am
    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.

    No, I wasn’t referring to you specifically on that, just more in general on how alot of posters are very protective of Reggie and are satisfied that he’s doing pretty much everything “the right way”.

    I don’t know if he is or not. I HOPE he is.

  • DKnight007

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:42 am
    #1750

    I hope he trades down but it takes two to tango on that one. May not be an opportunity to trade down or maybe a really bad offer is all that is available. If they have to pic at 3 they are going to have to draft best player available at a non need position (LT) or be reaching for a player not worthy of a 3rd rounder (DTs or DEs or a QB) or they can take Millner which is probably good enough to be a 3 but we have bigger needs. Man I hope we trade out of that and get some more pics.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    BPA would be Fisher at #3.

    Even if Fisher and Geno are there at #3. There should be a trade partner who wants Fisher and or Geno.

  • The_Judge37

    1760.Raider O Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:44 am
    I do, he’s a consistent, successful punter who can kick still kick for at least 5 more yrs. What more do you want? He’s making less than 2 million, which is right where he should be at.

    I’m all for saving money as long as they use else where. I’m not comfortable however losing someone who does affect the game just to sign 3 practice squaders
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    $2 million is a lot IMHO for a 37 yo punter on a bad team with cap issues when you can sign a LB like DJ Williams for less than $1 million or a vet CB for the min.
    ——-

    That’s my point, they didn’t sign DJ Williams. And shane would probably help our defense more by giving Field position than a 34 yr old Terrance Newman. I’d rather have Lechler than Jason Hunter, coye francise and King, who combined make as much as Shane’s 1.8 mil.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    DJ

    Agreed on 1764 – the jury is still out. Really hopeful because a lot of very smart people recommended this guy for us.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    We need a CB and we should be able to get a solid starter from this draft.
    I like Milliner, Rhodes, Amerson, Trufant, Poyer, Ryan, and McFadden. Go Aztecs!

  • Roch R

    For my 2 cents and my guess at the draft, the Raiders trade out of 3 with the Bills, going to number 8, with luck grab Warmack, maybe, but get a 2nd rd pick from Buf, who in turn gets Geno, bad deal according to JJ’s patented draft value chart, but best option for the S&B with so many holes and limited picks.

    My thoughts

  • Snakeinthegrass12

    I’m not an all-in guy when it comes to numbers. Like many of the posters frequently say, I have two eyes and see that the biggest problem is lack of talent on both sides of the ball. Since that lack of talent has been there for the last 10 years, my common sense also tells me that Al had a lot to do with it.

    That being said, we are no where near a “win now” team, and we need to let Reggie and DA have 3 years to figure it out. Year 1 sucked, so they better step it up in the next 2.

    As far as CP3 and TP, cut Carson’s ass and see if TP can do something this year, If not,draft a QB next year. No QB this year, none are worth squat.

    IMO, trade down from 3 into the middle of the first and try to pick up 2nd or 3rd rounder from someone. If we stay at 3, take Floyd or Millner.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’d rather have Lechler than Jason Hunter, coye francise and King, who combined make as much as Shane’s 1.8 mil
    $$$$$$$$$$$

    $1.8 for Hunter, Francis, and King?! Are you joking?
    I rather have Mike Jenkins, DJ Willimas, another vet CB, etc….
    I’m not impressed with Reggie.

  • Irish Boozer

    BPA is Star, period. He’s the best player in this draft, and at a position of tremendous need.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Quantity over Quality.
    Hunter, Francis, and King = $1.8 million
    Not impressed Reggie.

  • Charlie

    Knight

    I was referring to the comment that the 2011 offense was a “functioning and succesful offense” as Raider O thinks we had in 2011.
    That offense got dominated when it counted especially down the stretch.

    I agree our defense on that team was bad as well.

    We are 9-51 against playoff teams for the last ten years losing by an average score of 30-13.

    We are 49-111 under seven differnt coaching staffs over the last ten years.

    There has been NOTHING about this team that has funtioned well for a decade.

    Reggie had to tear it down and start over.
    Why is that so hard to understand???

  • willy91137

    Buffalo wants Gino he’ll be there at eight I draft genome in the third round he

    is not very accurate. I know he’s got 70% passing rating

    but you watch all the passess that they caught the receiver had to stop or change direction he didn’t get any yards after catch does not work in NFL

    In the NFL you have you hit the receiver in stride

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    How much are we paying Walker, Sims, Roach, Burnett, Maiava, Hunter, Francis, and King?

  • dr_robert

    Why do people think ausberry is any good? Post-draft hype?

    As raiders fans, we fall in love for the stuff they tell us about players and then hold onto it for years, always waiting for it to happen.

    He has done nothing in two years. I’d like to believe he will emerge too but there’s no real reason to think it.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Judge

    Regarding 1766 Hunter, Frnacis and King are all at minimum. No matter who you sign unless a long term vet you will have that amount of money against cap because these are minimums.

    We did not sign DJ Williams but I like Roach and Barnett a lot, I am not seeing the issue here. Does not Williams have some issues with taking PEDs? And by the way Newman actually had a good year last year and was healthy the entire year unlike Shane. I am just not getting the whole punter issue.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Charlie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:59 am
    Knight

    I was referring to the comment that the 2011 offense was a “functioning and succesful offense” as Raider O thinks we had in 2011.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Leave me out of your gibberish please. You don’t know what I think.
    Thank you.

  • willy91137

    he needed to hire offense of coordinator that could build an offense around the players he had

  • guest123

    Domino’s falling since Shane’s signing:

    Eagles just scooped up Donnie Jones who was the Texans punter last year and kicked their old punter to the curb. I wonder where Margaret King would fit on the pecking order if we brought in the Eagles old punter?

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Raider O Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:59 am
    Quantity over Quality.
    Hunter, Francis, and King = $1.8 million
    Not impressed Reggie.
    **************************

    Raider O you are better than this! Each of these is a minimum contract you have to have at least 53 of these to make a team. No matter who you pic up you are probably going to pay at least 600k. Not impressed with your arguement!

  • dr_robert

    Geno not accurate? 70% doesn’t happen cuz wrs are making all the plays. He’s VERY accurate.

    Threw 64 passes on his pro day and connected on 60.

    I’m interested to hear why people don’t like him. Pretty sure it has something to with him being black. I can’t stand missdick but subtle racism definitely exists.

  • jesusraiderjim

    BLOG MONKEYS

    Go Raiders!!

    Love me some MONKEYS!!

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Wow now we are calling a minimal salary punter who has not even punted in a regular season game yet a girl. I mean there is probably going to be a competiton and he may not even make the team! Wow that is brillant. Can we talk about Pryor and Palmer again. Wow. Great job Guestie123 – cracks me up.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Monkeys!
    LOL Jim.
    Good day monkey.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Milliner vs Star and Floy…. So in a dream scenario Milliner turns into Revis and the DTs turn into Ngata…

    Who would you rather have? The CB nobody throws to? Or the DT you cant get away from?

    I say the DT, all day. Look at the Superbowl, the 9ers got back in the game until Ngata got hurt.

  • Charlie

    O
    Sorry

    That quote was from Judge regarding the 2011 Raider offense being functional and succesful. You copied it.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Dr Robert

    Love Geno in the 3rd round not with 3rd pic. Very nice man very well spoken and intellegent just not that good at QB. May develop into starter but look at him along side someone like RGIII or Luck and he just does not add up. Like one poster says WRs often have to stop or turn to find ball because it is not on target. WRs are bailing this guy out a lot against inferior talent.

  • jesusraiderjim

    “Jane You Ignorant Slut”

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:09 am
    Raider O Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 9:59 am
    Quantity over Quality.
    Hunter, Francis, and King = $1.8 million
    Not impressed Reggie.
    **************************

    Raider O you are better than this! Each of these is a minimum contract you have to have at least 53 of these to make a team. No matter who you pic up you are probably going to pay at least 600k. Not impressed with your arguement!
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Correct if I’m wrong, but isn’t cheaper to draft and sign RFAs (talking about Hunter and Francis)?

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    I dont know why the TV people are so down on Geno. We’ll have to wait for the people whose necks depend on drafting to decide the kids potential…

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Charlie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:16 am
    O
    Sorry

    That quote was from Judge regarding the 2011 Raider offense being functional and succesful. You copied it.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    No problem. I wasn’t a huge fan of our offense in 2011, but I know it was better than the 2012 offense.
    I agree about our lack of talent and our need to IMPROVE THE DL, but we disagree on Skill/ OL idea.

  • dr_robert

    Geno is a stone cold lock to be taken top ten. His stock is soaring. He’s the deal.

  • ohioraider

    dr_robert Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Geno not accurate? 70% doesn’t happen cuz wrs are making all the plays. He’s VERY accurate.

    Threw 64 passes on his pro day and connected on 60.

    I’m interested to hear why people don’t like him. Pretty sure it has something to with him being black. I can’t stand missdick but subtle racism definitely exists.
    ————————————
    I’d take him in a heartbeat…in the 2nd or 3rd round where we don’t have to confront hype-induced salary inflation.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Correct ME*

  • dr_robert

    Well id take star and sharif and milliner and all the rest in the 2nd or 3rd too. But he’s a top ten talent. If we want a franchise qb, there he is.

  • dr_robert

    If not, I’ll just sit back and watch PALM-WONDERFUL! (c) kill it, and enjoy it a little extra, knowing its causing missdick to eat his tongue.

  • Charlie

    O

    I would love to be in position to draft skill guys and DB’s with high picks.

    On occasion the Raiders have done that in the past.

    I simply have never seen us do it successfully until the lines were solid and intact.

    I have never seen a Raiders teams disregard our lines the way we have over the last ten years.
    In my opinion we only have four proven NFL starting lineman on the roster today- Wiz, Veld, Brisiel and Houston. Everyone else is a major question either because of recent past performance or injury history.

  • guest123

    Take Star at #3 and don’t lose any sleep on it.