After 18 years with the Oakland Raiders, the team reportedly has told Sebastian Janikowski he will not be retained in 2018.
A trip down Nostalgia Lane won’t be in the cards for longtime Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who per Adam Schefter of ESPN, will not return to the team in 2018. A potential reunion with Jon Gruden was on the horizon, but the team has reportedly informed the kicker his 18-year with the franchise has come to an end.
Raiders informed kicker Sebastian Janikowski today that they do not plan to bring him back for the 2018 season, per source. An 18-year run with Raiders comes to an end.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 14, 2018
Janikowski was drafted by Al Davis and the Raiders with the 17th pick in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He was the fourth placekicker in league history to be taken in the first round of the draft, with the last one being in 1979.
Janikowski managed to be selected in the first round despite a pending bribery charge against him, in which he was acquitted from days after the draft. Seabass went 66 of 83 (79.5%) in his three years at Florida State. He won the Lou Groza award as the Nation’s top kicker two years in a row, and he became famous for sending kickoffs through the uprights.
In his 18 years with the Raiders, Seabass converted 414 out of 515 attempts, good for a career average of 80.4 percent. He had five seasons in which he converted 88% or more of his kicks — 2003, 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
He has attempted field goals of 64 yards and 76 yards, missing both. The 76-yard effort is officially the longest attempt on record. On the 64-yard attempt, he had the distance but clunked the ball off of the right post.
Against the Broncos in 2011, Janikowski nailed a 63-yard attempt as the first half came to a close, tying the NFL record. In September of 2016, Janikowski broke Jason Hanson’s record of most 50+ yard field goals made in NFL history.
Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Janikowski suffered a back injury and was placed on injured reserve. Giorgio Tavecchio got off to a hot start to the season, and his strong performance was seen as the end of the Janikowski era. However, Giorgio finished the year only converting 7 of 12 attempts (58.3%), so his drop off in performance paired with the return of Gruden kept the door open for Janikowski to have one more go.
But unfortunately for Janikowski, he won’t be able to go out on his own terms. It remains to be seen if he retires, but he had previously said he wanted to still be with the team once they reach Las Vegas.
The team has not yet released Janikowski. Once official, the move will clear $3.36 million in cap space with no dead money hit.