After nearly two decades in the NFL, one of the top punters of his generation has officially retired.
As shared via former teammate J.J. Watt’s Instagram on Saturday, longtime Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans punter Shane Lechler has called it a career.
The 42-year-old special teamer spent the 2018 season out of the league after his release from the Texans in August, but before that, he consistently ranked among the NFL‘s top players at his position. Originally a fifth-round draft pick of the Raiders in 2000, Lechler spent the first 13 years of his career in Oakland, going to seven Pro Bowls and earning nine All-Pro honors. Signed by the Texans in 2013, he led the league four times in total punting yards and finishes his career as the all-time leader in yards-per-punt average, recognized as part of the NFL’s honorary All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
“This man is the greatest punter to ever walk the Earth, but even more than that, he is one of the best people to ever walk this Earth,” Watt said in his farewell Instagram post. “You are truly one of a kind brother and last night (at his retirement party) was a testament to that as friends, family and teammates flew in from all over the country to celebrate you. And we’ll do it all again in a few years when they’re putting that gold jacket on you.”