Sebastian Janikowski's career with Raiders may be over as he misses last IR practice window

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Veteran kickerSebastian Janikowski, the Raiders' all-time leading scorer, is done for the season and possibly for his career with the team that made him a first-round draft pick in 2000 out of Florida State.

Oakland opened a practice window for cornerback Antonio Hamilton off injured reserve on Tuesday. It was the second of two such available windows -- the first was used for rookie safety Obi Melifonwu--leaving no room for Janikowski to be activated.

Janikowski took a $1 million paycut at the end of training camp to get the final year of his contract to $3 million for 2017. He went on IR the day before the season opener with a back issue.

Giorgio Tavecchio, who spent the previous four training camps with Oakland, was signed off the practice squad and has not looked back, converting 12 of 15 field goal attempts, including 3 of 4 from at least 50 yards, and 25 of 26 extra point attempts.

Janikowski was drafted No. 17 overall by Raiders owner Al Davis, when then-coach Jon Gruden favored either receiver Sylvester Morris or running back Shaun Alexander. Morris played just one season in the NFL, for Kansas City; Alexander played for nine years and was the league MVP for Seattle in 2005.

Only two players from that 2000 draft remain active in the NFL: Houston Texans punter Shane Lechler, who was drafted in the fifth round by Oakland, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, taken in the sixth round.

"Thank God for Raiders fans, they listened to Al Davis and not me," Gruden said later in a radio interview. "I'll say he was right."

Janikowski has 1,799 points for the Raiders, which ranks 10th in NFL history, as do his 414 career field goals. He has played in a franchise-record 268 games and 17 seasons for the Raiders.

On Sept. 12, 2011, Janikowski's 63-yard field goal at Denver tied the record for longest in NFL history. Matt Prater kicked a 64-yarder two years later, breaking the record.

Janikowski's 55 field goals of at least 50 yards are an NFL record.

The left-footed kicker converted 82.9 percent of his field goal attempts in 2016. He has made 80.4 percent of his career field goal attempts and 98.9 percent of his extra point attempts.

Before this season, Janikowski, who will turn 40 on March 2, had missed only four games in his career, two as a rookie, one in 2001 and another in 2011.

During June minicamp, Janikowski said he "hopes" to still be kicking for the Raiders when they move to Las Vegas in 2020.

"That's my goal," he said at the time.

Asked how long he wanted to kick for the Raiders, Janikowski smiled.

"Until they kick me out," he said.