All-Pro punter Shane Lechler retiring after 18 seasons

Print

One of football's great punters is calling it a career.

Former Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler is retiring at the age of 42.

The news was announced on Twitter by former Texans teammate J.J. Watt and former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee.

Lechler last played for the Texans in 2017. Houston cut the veteran in August 2018 in favor of Trevor Daniel.

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2000 draft by the Oakland Raiders, Lechler played 18 seasons in the NFL, made seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro six times. He is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame All-2000s team.

Lechler is often mentioned in the same sentence as fellow longtime Raiders special-teamer Sebastian Janikowski, whom Oakland selected in the first round of the 2000 draft. The two made for a killer pair of kicker of over a decade in the East Bay before Lechler left for Houston in 2013.

Lechler led the league in yards per punt five times and is the NFL's all-time leader in that category (47.6) while placing second in punting yards (68,676) and punts (1,713), behind former New York Giants booter Jeff Feagles.

In his farewell post to Lechler, McAfee called the punter a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and while that might be a little presumptuous in the moment, Lechler's candidacy for Canton is worth considering.

There is only punter in the Hall -- another Raider, Ray Guy -- and Lechler has as many Pro Bowl appearances and All-Pro selections as and a higher punting average than Guy. Lechler also played four more seasons than the token gold-jacketed punter.

Print