All Pro punter Shane Lechler has left the Raiders and signed with the Houston Texans. Terms of the contract were not disclosed by the team Saturday. ESPN reported the deal was for three years and worth a maximum of $5.5 million, with a $1 million signing bonus.
The 36-year-old Lechler is the NFL’s career leader in gross average per punt (47.3 yards) and has led the league in gross average in four seasons. He also ranks seventh in career net punting average (38.8 yards).
Oakland drafted Lechler in the fifth round in 2000, and he’d spent his entire pro career with the Raiders. He’s made seven Pro Bowls and had at least one punt of 50 yards or more in 33 consecutive games from 2003-05, the longest streak by any punter since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.
He also has two of the top four punting average seasons in NFL history — 51.1 yards in 2009 and 50.8 yards in 2011. The Raiders, with Marquette King waiting in the wings after a year on injured reserve, never made a move to bring back the leading punter in terms of gross yardage in NFL history.