NFL Offseason: Could the Texans use the franchise tag on Shane Lechler?
By Randy Gurzi
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk mentions the possibility of the Houston Texans using the franchise tag on 40-year old punter Shane Lechler
ProFootballTalk.com took a look at a possible player for all 32 NFL teams to use the franchise tag on this offseason as the free agency period quickly approaches. The Houston Texans are in a fortunate situation as their core players are all under contract for 2016, which makes the idea of using the tag less than likely for Houston.
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Still, site editor Mike Florio was able to bring up an interesting name for the Texans to use the tag on this offseason as he suggested punter Shane Lechler could be slapped with the tag, ensuring his return to the team next season.
"Texans: Punter Shane Lechler turns 40 later this year, but he still has a big leg — and a big role for a team that often needs to play the field-position game."
Tagging a player means they will either earn 120 percent of their money from the previous year, or the average of the top-five players at their position. Usually a player gets a large pay day, but loses long-term security in such a move.
For a forty year-old punter, the long-term security may not be an issue and the pay won’t devastate the team’s salary cap. The last time a punter was tagged was in 2013, when the Indianapolis Colts tagged Pat McAfee, who earned $2.977 for that designation.
Lechler averaged 47.3 yards per punt in 2015 and had 24 kicks downed inside the 20. Despite his age, he is still a serious weapon in the field position game and if the Texans are concerned at all about him leaving in free agency, the tag may be the best bet.
Next: Texans potential draft target, Austin Hooper
Sound off Texans fans and let us know in the comment section if you believe tagging Lechler to keep him for another year is a smart move.