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HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans released veteran punter Shane Lechler just before what would have been his 19th NFL season.
Lechler was let go after the Texans decided to go with undrafted rookie Trevor Daniel.
The 42-year-old Lechler spent the first 13 years of his career with the Raiders before joining the Texans in 2013. He started 206 games for Oakland and never missed a game as a Texan Shaq Mason Jersey , making all 80 starts in his five seasons with the team.
Coach Bill O’Brien said making the final cuts to the roster are always hard, but that this one is particularly difficult.
“Shane Lechler’s one of the best pros I’ve ever been around, and if you look back at kind of who I’ve been around, I’ve been around some good pros, and he’s one of the best, he said.
Lechler, a fifth-round draft pick out of Texas A&M in 2000, was a seven-time Pro Bowler and was first-team All-Pro six times. He ranks second in NFL history with 1 Brent Urban Jersey ,444 punts for 68,676 yards.
“He was a great leader here, was a captain,” O’Brien said. “In my opinion, he’s a Hall of Fame punter. So, we had a good talk this morning and we decided to head in that direction. … We try to make decisions in the best interest of the team, but sometimes those decisions are very difficult.”
Lechler is the all-time NFL leader in yards per punt with 47.6 and he led the league in yards per punt in five seasons. He was in the top 10 in 11 other years. He led the NFL in punting yards in four seasons, including last year when he had 4 Rhett Ellison Jersey ,507.
In 2011 he had a career-long punt of 80 yards, which led the NFL that year, and he also had the longest punt in the league in 2003 when he booted one 73 yards.
Lechler went to high school in East Bernard, Texas where he was the team’s quarterback, kicker and punter before a four-year career at Texas A&M, where he was the team’s punter and kicked off for the Aggies.
“Shane’s a Texas legend,” O’Brien said. “He’s a guy who grew up in this state, comes from a coaches’ family Blake Martinez Jersey , I have a great deal of respect for Shane and wish him the best.”
O’Brien said he doesn’t believe Daniel will be under any extra pressure to perform because he’s replacing someone like Lechler.
“It’s the National Football League. That’s a part of the deal,” he said. “We’re all here to produce and to try to perform, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Among the many things the Atlanta Braves have done right on their way to leading the National League East this season, they’ve been getting hits. The Braves began their series against fellow division leader Milwaukee on Thursday night with three of the top four hits leaders in the NL, with outfielder Nick Markakis (108) leading the way and infielder Ozzie Albies (102) and Freddie Freeman (101) close behind in third and fourth, respectively. It’s the first time in franchise history the team has had three players reach 100 hits prior to the All-Star game, and the Braves will continue their series when Mike Foltynewicz and Freddy Peralta face off.
In a season full of highlights for the New York Yankees, right-hander Sonny Gray has been one of the team’s biggest disappointments in his first full season with club. Gray will try and rebound from his worst start of the season when the Yankees begin a weekend series in Toronto against the Blue Jays. After being acquired from Oakland last season Durham Smythe Jersey , Gray is 5-6 with 5.44 ERA this season and is coming off an 11-0 loss to Boston last weekend in which he allowed six runs in only 2 1/3 innings.
CHICAGO SEEING RED
Two weeks ago, the Chicago Cubs suffered through an embarrassing four-game sweep in Cincinnati – beginning a stretch of six losses in seven games. Chicago has won six straight games since that rough patch, and has the opportunity to make amends with the Reds when the two teams begin a weekend series at Wrigley Field. Mike Montgomery (3-2) starts for Chicago, and Tyler Mahle (6-6) takes the mound for Cincinnati.
ACE OF NEW YORK
Despite the struggles of the New York Mets for much of the season, Jacob deGrom has been one of the NL’s most dominant starters. The right-hander leads the league with his 1.84 ERA and will be back at work when he takes the mound against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. He has allowed three runs in each of his last two starts, the first time he’s allowed three or more runs in back-to-back games since April.
Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez (8-6) put together his best full month of the season in June, posting a 3.71 ERA in six starts and lowering his overall ERA from 5.83 to 5.11 in the process. The 2010 Cy Young award winner will try and extend his improved performance into July when he starts in an interleague game against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
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