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Texans Bring Back Shane Lechler, Nick Novak
- Updated: March 9, 2017
NFL free agency is officially underway, and deals are popping up all over the place. Bigger names like Ricky Wagner, Andrew Whitworth, and Calais Campbell are all headed to new locales while others like Kenny Stills and Jahleel Addae are sticking with their current teams. Despite being linked to Tony Romo and multiple other players, the Houston Texans are easing their toes into those free agency waters by bringing back two key members of special teams.
Houston agreed to new contracts with kicker Nick Novak and punter Shane Lechler late Tuesday night, although details of the deals weren’t made available at that time. According to Spotrac.com, Novak’s deal is for one year and $1,150,000 with a $250,000 signing bonus and $250,000 guaranteed. Lechler’s deal is for one year and $2 million with a $500,000 signing bonus and $500,000 guaranteed.
Novak tied for second in the NFL in field goals last season, connecting on 35 attempts. The pivotal point of Novak’s season came as the Texans were attempting to close out the AFC South. The veteran kicker made 16 consecutive attempts, including all five against the Colts in Week 14. Novak has made 48 of his 51 field goal attempts within 50 yards during his two seasons with the Texans, good for 94%. Bringing him back seems to indicate that second-year kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn isn’t ready to return from injured reserve.
Originally signed in 2013 as a free agent, Lechler has been the most consistent presence on the punting unit. The 17-year veteran punted 72 times in 2016 with an average of 47.5 yards. He placed 30 of these kicks inside the 20-yard line and only had three touchbacks. Houston was wise to bring back the seven-time Pro Bowl punter considering that he shows no signs of slowing down.
Free agency continues this week. Will the Texans bring back AJ Bouye or sign a big free agent quarterback? Keep checking The Runner Sports for more updates.
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