The Houston Texans made a decision to keep rookie punter Trevor Daniel and release veteran Shane Lechler on Friday afternoon.
There is a change at punter for the Houston Texans for the 2018 NFL season with the franchise releasing veteran punter Shane Lechler and keeping rookie Trevor Daniel following a preseason battle at the position.
Though Lechler had been with the Texans franchise since the 2013 season, he played from 2000 to 2012 with the Oakland Raiders. In his career, Lechler had 1,444 punts for a total of 68,678 yards with a career-high punt of 80 yards back in 2011. In his time with the Texans, Lechler’s top punt went for 71 yards in 2014.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported the roster move on Friday, while also writing Lechler didn’t lose his job, but rather Daniel won it, as McClain went on to call Lechler the “second-greatest punter in NFL history:”
"“Daniel, 23 and undrafted out of the University of Tennessee, won the job with a terrific performance in the offseason program, training camp and preseason.”"
Lechler played six seasons with the Texans and had 206 punts in that time frame, averaging 47.5 yards per punt. Last season, Lechler totaled 92 punts for a career-best 4,507 yards, with his best punt being 69 yards, while finishing with an average of 49 yards per punt.
Even with a legendary status within the NFL, Lechler lost the job to the younger Daniel, who was an undrafted free agent this year out of the University of Tennessee. In four seasons with the Vols, Daniel had 200 punts for an average of 45.9 yards. During this preseason, Daniel made 10 punts for an average of 45.3 yards per punt, including four punts landing inside the 20-yard line.
This might not be the most important decision the Texans will make on their roster this weekend, but it will be one that will be watched under a microscope as they released a sure thing for a rookie, but it was the right decision that was made, and one that could set the new era of punting for the Texans in years to come.