On Tuesday, the NFL legal tampering period began. Late Tuesday evening, the Houston Texans announced a few moves. Houston re-signed their veterans at kicker and punter from last season. With the move, the Texans have taken the first steps in making sure the strengths of their team remain intact going into 2017. At the end of the day, kickers and punters are people, too. Let’s examine the impacts of the signings below:
K Nick Novak
Nick Novak enjoyed a career year in 2016. He ended up an astounding 35/41 on his field goal attempts. Houston struggled in the red zone during the season, but Novak was a nice fallback option. He brings consistency to the team, and helped the team in critical situations. In 2017, Novak will look to cut back on his field goal attempts, as he will surely hope the offense can convert in the red zone at a higher rate. Meanwhile, the Texans can rest easy knowing that they have brought back one of their key performers from last season.
P Shane Lechler
Lechler, who seems to have been in the NFL for an eternity, re-signed with the Texans on Tuesday. As a 40-year old, Lechler is no spring chicken. However, his leg still has an incredible amount of power behind it. In his 17th professional season, Lechler averaged 47.5 yards per punt, good for 7th in the NFL. That number is right in line with his career averages, and Lechler is an asset in the battle of field positioning. Next season will be Lechler’s 18th season, and his 5th with the Texans. Houston will be glad to have another chess piece back in the fold, as they look to put the defense in position to make plays with the opposition backed up.
As the NFL tampering period continues, be sure to continue following Pro Football Spot. With free agency beginning on Thursday, the Texans will have plenty of decisions to make. As we get closer to the start of free agency, the Texans can be assured that special teams will remain a strength in 2017.