Shane Lechler could be a free agent – Pack should make ridiculous offer

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how the Packers should do anything to acquire Shane Lechler. I didn’t realize at the time that Lechler is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. This is from the Oakland Tribune:

Lechler is on the verge of free agency unless the Raiders offer a contract extension that he accepts between now and the end of February. The Raiders all but tipped their hand on which way they are leaning in terms of applying the franchise tag designation by signing free agent punter Ricky Schmitt on Monday. Teams with four-time Pro Bowl punters don’t sign undrafted free agent punters without any NFL experience. That is, unless there’s a chance of losing the Pro Bowl punter. On Thursday, Raiders coach Tom Cable admitted as much, saying Schmitt was signed, in part, as a “just-in-case” insurance policy.

I like Jeremy Kapinos. He’s come in and punted well especially given the pressure he must have felt considering the collective anger Packer fans have developed re our punting situation this year. But the opportunity to acquire someone like Shane Lechler is one that needs to be taken very seriously. As the GM, I would give Lechler a ridiculous offer right away, maybe even something like 1.5x – 2x more than any other punter makes right now. He’s that good and winning the field position battle is a subtle part of the game that can really help out a defense (Oakland’s defense excepted of course because they are a sorry franchise).

I realize TT would probably rather get value with the darkhorse player he found – in this case Kapinos. But Lechler is special and TT should use some of that cap room to lock up the best punter in the game and one of the better punters to ever play.

(It’s funny, I almost wrote a similar post a few weeks ago about Asomugha, the gifted Oakland corner who is playing under the franchise designation this year. Though a quick glance at our defense would indicate corner is not really a need position – in the very near future, it will be as Harris and Woodson age. Asomugha is unreal – I read an article earlier this year about how teams work very hard to find ways to avoid throwing it in his direction…ever. He’s a guy who would immediately solidify one corner position for years and perhaps allow Woodson the opportunity to work at safety. All this written, I don’t know how much of a play I’d actually make for him – right now, I’d be more focused on picking up Lechler.)

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5 Responses to “Shane Lechler could be a free agent – Pack should make ridiculous offer”

  1. Ron La Canne Says:

    Premiere FA action must be directed to the D-Line. Followed by the O-Line and only then specialty positions. Let’s see how Kapinos does in impossible circumstances tomorrow night. I’d like to see Lechler too, but our needs are to have impact players added to both Lines.

  2. Bill Walsh Says:

    Will TT learn from Ron Wolf’s Craig Hentrich mistake? We shall see.

    Lechler, incidentally, is the only player with a lifetime punting average above Sammy Baugh’s. 45.6 yds/punt, last time I checked. My bad. It’s 46.8, with 48.9 this season.

    That’s worth some serious coin, if you’re at all serious about field position. (And have, um, special-teams worries…)

  3. DaveK Says:

    I believe Robbie Gould is the highest paid punter in the league right now. He signed a five yr deal with the Bears in May for $15.5 million that included a $4.25 million bonus. So, that is the lower limit we are talking about here to sign an elite kicker. Plus, you have to convince the guy to punt in Green Bay eight games a year which may be an issue for a punter who currently resides in CA. I am guessing the Packers are looking at around $3.5-$4 million a year to sign him.

    Haynesworth, Taylor, Lechler…the wish list grows daily!

  4. Aaron Says:

    Dave – Gould is a placekicker – not a punter.

  5. DaveK Says:

    Thanks for the correction…duh. I googled highest paid punter and he came up. I googled highest paid punters and he came up. I can’t find much about what top punters get paid. I’ll keep looking….

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