Oakland Raiders

Raiders' Possibility of Re-Signing Shane Lechler Not so Crazy Anymore

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 11: Punter Shane Lechler #9 of the Oakland Raiders punts the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIMarch 19, 2013

The first week of NFL free agency was a mixed bag for the Oakland Raiders.  While they were able to sign quality players like Nick Roach, they also watched three of their best players sign elsewhere.

Those top three players would be Brandon Myers, Philip Wheeler and Desmond Bryant.  The Raiders also lost serviceable backups when they lost Matt Shaughnessy and Mike Goodson.  On top of that, they released Michael Huff, who was arguably the best defensive back in Oakland, which isn't saying much right now, but it's still a tough loss.

There is still one big-name Raider who has still yet to sign with another team.

Punter Shane Lechler, one of the most decorated players in Raiders' history in terms of individual accolades, is still available.  Despite speculation that he could be joining the Houston Texans, Lechler remains a free agent.

Before the start of free agency, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Lechler was on his way out of Oakland.  With the Raiders keeping Marquette King on the roster by putting him on IR, the writing was on the wall for King to replace Lechler in 2013.

However, while King will remain in Oakland, there remains the fact that Lechler is the highest-paid punter in NFL history and Raiders' GM Reggie McKenzie has higher priorities than his punter with his limited cap space.

That was the theory before free agency began, but after a week of silence on the Lechler front, he could fall back to Oakland and retire with the Raiders.

A slow-moving market could drop Lechler's asking price to Oakland's range.  Lechler may have had a down year in terms of his stats, but he was playing most of the 2012 season recovering from a preseason injury.

Lechler is old and expensive, not quite the formula a rebuilding team is looking for, but a Lechler-Raiders reunion doesn't sound as crazy as it did when free agency began.  

Update: Sure enough within three days of writing this the Texans and Lechler have agreed to terms on a contract and Lechler will no longer be a Raider.

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