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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

  • ohioraider

    Seattle got Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. Every year you can find gems in the later rounds. I think that’s Reggie’s mission and I think that’s wise.

  • The_Judge37

    1778.1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:06 am
    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.
    ——-

    My problem is they didn’t even try to sign Lechler, who is a consistent Pro. Even at the Minimum, guys like Hunter, Francise and King are at least $500k a year guys that amount to money we could’ve put to Lechler.

  • guest123

    Seattle got Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. Every year you can find gems in the later rounds.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    Yep, and some lucky SOB claimed over $300 mill in the powerball lottery too. What’s the likelihood of drafting a player of Russell Wilson’s impact in the later rounds?

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Raider O

    For a UFDA it is true that there is no minimal amount required to bring into camp. However, you are usually in some sort of competition to sign these players and you usually will give a signing bonus of up to 50k. If you like the guy and think he can make the team then you give him a 3yr contract. It seems like the street price is about 375k + approx 25k signing bonus. So by your logic you would need to change about 9 of these players from young vet min to UDFA to raise the 1.8 million for Lechler. Like I said I am just not getting this arguement. That means you will have almost 20% of you team being UDFAs in order to make sure we have a vet punter who had a bad year last year.

  • inonewordraider
  • ohioraider

    Judge, what makes you think that this wasn’t a civilized discussion between adults, with Lechler concluding that he’d rather go home to Texas? That it was a mutual agreement that satisfied both parties?

  • ohioraider

    guest123 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Seattle got Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. Every year you can find gems in the later rounds.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    Yep, and some lucky SOB claimed over $300 mill in the powerball lottery too. What’s the likelihood of drafting a player of Russell Wilson’s impact in the later rounds?
    ————————————–
    Are you suggesting it’s like one in 500 million, same as the lotto? Is that new math?

  • rediaR

    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.
    —————-
    Great, now watch a game instead of just looking at the stat book.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Post 1803 please note that RM first pic came several pics after Russell Wilson. Also note that RM had spent time with RW during the draft and senior bowl and there are articles that say he would have took him if he had a 2nd round pic. I wonder if the pic we used for TP6′s supplemental came before Seattle’s? Something to think about.

  • The_Judge37

    1806.ohioraider Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:33 am
    Judge, what makes you think that this wasn’t a civilized discussion between adults, with Lechler concluding that he’d rather go home to Texas? That it was a mutual agreement that satisfied both parties?
    ——–

    Because in Shane’s interview he said there were no contract talks or offers from the Raiders.

  • dr_robert

    Watch geno? I have. So have the scouts like mayock.

  • ohioraider

    Exactly, because it was understood he would move on. He makes more than the franchise tag would’ve paid him AND he goes home.

  • guest123

    Post 1803 please note that RM first pic came several pics after Russell Wilson. Also note that RM had spent time with RW during the draft and senior bowl and there are articles that say he would have took him if he had a 2nd round pic. I wonder if the pic we used for TP6’s supplemental came before Seattle’s? Something to think about.

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

    Interesting discussion. Especially would rile the TP lovers out there if you were to compare RW to TP, which is not even a contest at this point.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Judge

    Judge you are dead right on the quote.

    But are you saying we should have made Lechler a Urlacher type offer? Say a two year offer for 2.2 million or something like that? Then SL would have been insulted. I think this is a lose lose no matter what here.

  • guest123

    Are you suggesting it’s like one in 500 million, same as the lotto? Is that new math?

    +++++

    just that it’s a really long shot to get immediate impact starters in the later rounds. usually they are depth and special teamers and yes there are a few rare nuggets.

  • ohioraider

    You lose on Geno Smith and you lose big time. How many years did JMR cost us? Reggie not that kind of gambler.

  • The_Judge37

    1812.ohioraider Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:40 am
    Exactly, because it was understood he would move on. He makes more than the franchise tag would’ve paid him AND he goes home.
    ——

    Yeah, he understood no contract offer means they don’t want you here, i get that. That’s part of my issue though.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Guest

    Regarding Russell Wilson, I know, I was reluctant to type it. Might wake the sleeping trolls.

    AW

  • guest123

    Why not make SL the urlacher type offer? This is business. Nothing personal. No personal insults involved in making an offer. At least tell Shane he can come back at his best matched offer. At least ask him to present it so Reggie can consider it. But all Shane heard was crickets.

  • The_Judge37

    1814.1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:43 am
    Judge

    Judge you are dead right on the quote.

    But are you saying we should have made Lechler a Urlacher type offer? Say a two year offer for 2.2 million or something like that? Then SL would have been insulted. I think this is a lose lose no matter what here.
    ——

    Just make the effort, if he leaves then he leaves. But they’ve been dogging him in the media a few times, hinting that they can’t pay a punter.

    We don’t know anything about King, but we know about Shane, Coye, and Hunter. I’d rather see the money spent on King, Coye and Hunter go toward an offer to shane and at least we won’t have to worry abou the Punter spot in addition to everything else.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    OhioRaider

    Stakes not so high on Geno because of Rookie Salary cap but we miss out on getting a piece or pieces to rebuild instead of a QB that is probably not even as good as our current starter. We only save like 6 million dollars by cutting CP at this point and we add 9 million of dead money to the cap. Since the salary for Geno would be 6 million a year it is a wash and unless he is the franchise QB of the future you just wasted the 3rd overall pic. Very risky.

  • The_Judge37

    1819.guest123 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:46 am
    Why not make SL the urlacher type offer? This is business. Nothing personal. No personal insults involved in making an offer. At least tell Shane he can come back at his best matched offer. At least ask him to present it so Reggie can consider it. But all Shane heard was crickets.
    —-

    Exactly, who knows if he would’ve taken a discount. He’s been a Raider for 13 yrs. If he didn’t then oh well, my beef is with the lack of effort on Reggie’s part, not so much with Shane leaving.

  • guest123

    All the teams at the top of the draft are compelled to look at QB’s hoping they land a ‘savior’. Look at the teams that reached for first round QB’s lately. Along with the Luck’s & RG3′s, there a number of Gabbert’s, Locker’s, Ponder’s, Freeman’s out there putting up middling effort and struggling just to keep a job.

    Geno and all the rest fall into the second category in my view. We can’t afford to screw up the pick. If we can’t get a sucker trade for Geno, we have to at least secure a stud D-Lineman like Star while he’s there. This is a N’Gata type that & they are too rare to pass up.

  • ohioraider

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 10:49 am

    OhioRaider

    Stakes not so high on Geno because of Rookie Salary cap but we miss out on getting a piece or pieces to rebuild instead of a QB that is probably not even as good as our current starter. We only save like 6 million dollars by cutting CP at this point and we add 9 million of dead money to the cap. Since the salary for Geno would be 6 million a year it is a wash and unless he is the franchise QB of the future you just wasted the 3rd overall pic. Very risky.
    ————————————
    Couldn’t have put it better myself. Nicely done.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    For a UFDA it is true that there is no minimal amount required to bring into camp. However, you are usually in some sort of competition to sign these players and you usually will give a signing bonus of up to 50k. If you like the guy and think he can make the team then you give him a 3yr contract. It seems like the street price is about 375k + approx 25k signing bonus. So by your logic you would need to change about 9 of these players from young vet min to UDFA to raise the 1.8 million for Lechler. Like I said I am just not getting this arguement. That means you will have almost 20% of you team being UDFAs in order to make sure we have a vet punter who had a bad year last year.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    1- I don’t want to resign Lechler.

  • Marks hair

    I think we trade down. Reg won’t even fill out the roster without some more picks.. plus I don’t think he has the balls to make a tuff choice at 3.

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    Levi Damien;
    “Lechler’s admission goes against one of the key components Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen want in their players – to want to be part of this Raiders team. That could be the reason they made no attempts to re-sign Lechler. They knew he had his heart set on returning to Houston to play out his career. He didn’t want to be a Raider, and therefore they weren’t going to attempt to keep him.”

    Video: Shane Lechler says he has wanted to play for the Texans for many years
    By Levi Damien on Mar 24 2013
    http://www.silverandblackpride.com/2013/3/24/4143728/video-shane-lechler-says-he-has-wanted-to-play-for-the-texans-for

  • The_Judge37

    Raider O
    —–

    I don’t really think you get my point. Guys like Jason Hunter is an 8 year veteran. Which put his salary around $800k. Coye is a 3 year Vet which is around $500k. That’s about $1.3 Mil on two player that have been worthless for their careers.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/25/minimum-salaries-shoot-up-under-new-deal/

  • The_Judge37

    I don’t know why you’re bringing up UDFA’s?

  • Charlie

    Hair

    It would be nice to trade down.

    Doubt if anyone will partner with us to do it.
    We must get that teams first and second rounder.

    Steep price to move up several spots.

  • guest123

    KC’s GM didn’t bother with WVU’s pro day. Total smokescreen that they are at all interested in Geno.

    Reggie didn’t bother with Utah’s pro day. Doesn’t look like he’s after Star.

    Terrence Newman is pretty close to making up his mind. We’ll see if he chooses the Raiders.

  • The_Judge37

    1830.Charlie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:21 am
    Hair

    It would be nice to trade down.

    Doubt if anyone will partner with us to do it.
    We must get that teams first and second rounder.

    Steep price to move up several spots.
    ————-

    Our only hope is that someone really wants Geno or Star and are affraid Philly, Clev, or Arizona will take them after us

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    That means you will have almost 20% of you team being UDFAs in order to make sure we have a vet punter who had a bad year last year.
    ====================================================

    Wasn’t a bad year at all by NFL standards, only his own.
    A lot of kicks could’ve been downed inside the 10-15 yard line but players were there and whiffed. Maybe an unusual amount of bad bounces but more likely ill prepared special teamers.

  • guest123

    Chiefs working out Jarvis Jones on a personal w/o

  • dr_robert

    Hunter isn’t a joke. He’s got pass rush ability and he’s good depth. Francies is a ST guy. Their presence on the team has NOTHING to do with Lechler. The decision on him was made a year ago when they kept king around. Lechler was great. At punting. And the team was awful while he was here. And he was a guy who had a low opinion of the org. It’s time to move on.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Someone else brought up UDFAs because they are relatively cheap around 400k per year if they make the roster vs. someone like Hunter who at vet minimum makes 800k. My point ealier is you have to fill out the roster with someone and they will cost something no matter who you get so when you are down at vet minimums it is hard to deal with the arguement such as “wow you spent money on this guy vs. that guy.” They all cost about 600k +- 200k and they are fighting for making the active roster each week.

  • The_Judge37

    Hunter has 11 career sacks in his 8 years. Yeah great PR ability. Coye wasn’t even a good special teamer

  • Charlie

    Judge

    Agreed.
    It would be nice to have a second rounder this year.

    Not having a first and second rounder last year really hurt.

    With a team like the Raiders our first and second round picks should start day one.

    Hard to judge any GM’s draft performance without first and second round picks.
    I know you can find All pros in round six.
    The odds are much better in rounds one and two.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    The_Judge37 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:24 am
    1830.Charlie Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:21 am
    Hair

    It would be nice to trade down.

    Doubt if anyone will partner with us to do it.
    We must get that teams first and second rounder.

    Steep price to move up several spots.
    ————-

    Our only hope is that someone really wants Geno or Star and are affraid Philly, Clev, or Arizona will take them after us
    *************************
    Also Millner is a possible trade up target for playoff teams that think they are a CB away from SB. Also teams may want to trade up for LTs. Star is unlikely trade up target. KC working out Jones is a sign they are also trying to trade out of #1.

  • The_Judge37

    Also Millner is a possible trade up target for playoff teams that think they are a CB away from SB. Also teams may want to trade up for LTs. Star is unlikely trade up target. KC working out Jones is a sign they are also trying to trade out of #1.
    —-

    Giving up a 2nd round pick to swap for a DB at #3 is a bit of a stretch. They could get them cheaper in salary if they trade with the spots 4-10

  • dr_robert

    Hunter had five sacks in 09 so he can contribute. He’s not a world beater. But he’s better than Tollefsen.

    Francis’s is no great shakes but he’s young and fast. And he’s not bad as a ST guy. Some potential to get better. Young and cheap.

  • Charlie

    The problem with all FA’s is that they need to be evaluated on durability, work ethic, knowledge and talent RELATIVE TO COMPENSATION.
    It is a complex formula.

    That is the elusive VALUE equation that has killed the Raiders for the last ten years.

    Free agents are usually free for a reason. Either their salary demands are not consistent with their body of past work or there is a low evaluation of one of the aforementioned variables by their past employer.

    We need to build our team through the draft especially with the protection the rookie salry cap offers.

  • guest123

    no great shakes, young and cheap… story of the Raiders 2013 roster? sigh.

  • oklahomaRaider18

    Can we get a new post already!!!!???

  • guest123

    Wasn’t a bad year at all by NFL standards, only his own.
    A lot of kicks could’ve been downed inside the 10-15 yard line but players were there and whiffed. Maybe an unusual amount of bad bounces but more likely ill prepared special teamers.

    ********

    I agree. The demise of Shane has been greatly exaggerated by some people with their own personal axe’s to grind. Was he overpaid? Of course. But unless Shane really didn’t want to be a Raider, we should have offered competitive market value. If he turns it down, then we know he just wasn’t about being a Raider. And that’s fine. But to color his career by last year or even suggest a trend is going way too far.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Judge not if Eagles *want him* at #4 which some mocks have him at.

  • Charlie

    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.

    Too many holes and not enough good draft picks to fill them.
    We would need quite a bit of luck to find immediate impact players in rounds 4 and later.
    It simply does not happen that often.

    The FA’s that are out there will not usually be cornerstone pieces. They are at best niche pieces to buy time till we draft the right guy.

  • RaidingTexas

    Bill Williamson @espn_afcwest 1s
    #Raiders Talking to CB Tracy Porter. More to come blog.

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

    Guest123 Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:24 am
    KC’s GM didn’t bother with WVU’s pro day. Total smokescreen that they are at all interested in Geno.

    Reggie didn’t bother with Utah’s pro day. Doesn’t look like he’s after Star.

    Terrence Newman is pretty close to making up his mind. We’ll see if he chooses the Raiders.

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

    Reggie not attending Utah’s pro day means we ARE interested in Star. Remember last year, when Reggie brought all these prospects in to Alameda for a visit, and only drafted one (Bilukidi)? Heck, we had Josh Chapman in for a visit, then passed on him twice.

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    dr_robert Says:
    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.
    ========================================================

    It’s not Easter yet.