Will the Texans bring punter Shane Lechler back for another year?

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 27: Shane Lechler
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 27: Shane Lechler /

Shane Lechler completed his 18th NFL season and his fifth with the Houston Texans in 2017. Lechler has previously stated his desire to return for a 19th season. Now the question at hand is will his next season be in a Texans uniform?

Even though Lechler was 41 years old last season, he is still one of the more productive punters in the NFL. In fact Lecher’s average of 49 yards per punt is the second-highest in the NFL this past season. Brett Kern of the Tennessee Titans average 49.7 yards per punt to just edge out Lechler. Lechler was also able to successfully pin the opponent inside their own 20-yard line 32 times, good enough to rank fifth in this category.

HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 30: Shane Lechler
HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 30: Shane Lechler /

Punting 92 times, Lechler punted the third-most in the NFL last season. Lechler’s 92 punts totaled 4,507 yards, the most in the NFL. The Texans have one of the most productive punters in the NFL and were able to utilize his skills during a trying season.

There is the possibility that Lechler could depart to another team in an attempt to get to the all elusive Super Bowl. Lechler’s decision to come to Houston in the first place was in part due to the chance to win a Super Bowl. Playoff runs have occurred however they have stopped short of a Super Bowl appearance.

Another reason is that Lechler is from Texas. Lechler is a lifelong fan of the Houston Astros and playing close to home certainly played a factor. Lechler’s hometown of East Bernard is about an hour outside of Houston.

The Texans paid Lechler a total $2 million last season. This is an increase from the total of $1.8 million the year before. A contract in the similar range of $2 million would rank towards the middle of punter salaries. This is not out of the question for the Texans to pay up for Lechler. Even in his advanced age Lechler continues to be on the of the best punters in the league. The decision for Lechler is whether he wants to try and win a Super Bowl or stay or close to home. A question that should be answered upon the start of free agency.