ALAMEDA -- Will the most decorated player on the Raiders roster be back next season?
It's not a slam dunk, says punter Shane Lechler.
The Raiders made four roster transactions Monday, the most notable of which include the reinstatement of middle linebacker Rolando McClain from the suspended list and the release of starting cornerback Ron Bartell.
Meanwhile, Lechler, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, conceded he isn't sure where he will end up in 2013 and has had long discussions with his wife about their future residence.
"It's one of those things you don't have any control over and it's kind of frustrating," Lechler said. "In the same sense, it's exciting and frustrating at the same time."
Lechler, 36, is in the final year of a four-year, $16 million contract signed in 2009 that made him the highest-paid punter in the NFL. He's scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.
Coming into the season having had surgery on his nonkicking leg, Lechler has only of late begun to show the form that has made him the NFL's all-time leader in gross punting average.
He is ranked 10th in gross average at 47.3 yards per kick, with a net of 38.3 that is the second-worst of his career. The latter figure is distorted by a handful of punts that have barely rolled into the end zone at a cost of 20 yards each in terms of net average.
"The numbers that I've put up this year have been my numbers," Lechler said. "I've still got three games to correct some stuff and get ready to find out what's going to happen after this year."
Lechler joined the Raiders as a fifth-round draft pick in 2000, the same year kicker Sebastian Janikowski was a first-round selection. They are the longest-tenured players on the roster and have played for eight head coaches, from Jon Gruden through Dennis Allen.
It didn't go unnoticed by Lechler that undrafted free agent Marquette King, a thunder-footed punter with consistency issues, was kept on injured reserve with a foot injury after a weight-room accident in early September. He'll ostensibly compete for the job in 2013.
"It was frustrating for a little while because this is my job, and it has been mine for 13 years," Lechler said. "I took it a little bit personal early, but after that I was like, 'You know what? I can only worry about so many things around here.' That was one of them I needed to stop worrying about."
General manager Reggie McKenzie has shown signs of running a tight fiscal ship without bloated salaries. While Lechler is open to returning, only McKenzie and Allen know how much they'll pay a punter on a rebuilding team.
Lechler, whose first punt Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs will be No. 1,000 for his career, believes this year's team is making progress that hasn't shown up on the scoreboard. He likes the approach of Allen.
"I think D.A. is good for this job. He's got my full support," Lechler said. "I think somewhere in here we're going to have to let a guy coach for a few years to figure it out. It's not much different than college ball. You give a guy four years, let him develop his players and see how they are instead of change and change and change. But this is Oakland."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.
Kansas City (2-11) at Raiders (3-10), 1:25 p.m. CBS
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