Longtime veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski is the Oakland Raiders best player so it’s only right the team sign him to a new four-year contract extension, which they did earlier today it was announced by team general manager Reggie McKenzie.
The new deal will keep the 13-year veteran and Raiders 2000 first-rounder (17th overall pick) with the team through 2017. With the former Pro-Bowler going into the final year of his contract it was one of the teams top priorities to keep the franchises all-time leading scorer in Silver and Black.
It’s a well deserved extension for Janikowski, who becomes the highest paid kicker in the NFL and is coming off his best season of his career when he converted 31-of-34 of his field-goal attempts with his only misses being 51, 61 and 64 yards. He also became just one of nine kickers in league history to hit 91.2 percent of his field goals while being perfect from 49 yards or less.
The 35-year-old sounded happy and optimistic about staying with the Raiders having this to say, “Where else would I go? I love California, I love being here and I see the changes. I think we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got the right coaches and players. People are going to be surprised this year what we can do.”
It’s good to see one of the teams few bright spots of consistency in the last decade plus so positive and optimistic heading into a new season, but I think even he knows it’s going to take a lot more than just words to change around a franchise that hasn’t had a winning record in more than a decade. With Janikowski and recently returned Charles Woodson being the only links to the teams last playoff appearance in 2002 when they lost to former head coach Jon Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Janikowski does have the NFL record of 50 plus yard field goals within reach that he can look forward to breaking in the next few years though. As with his 42 field goals of 50 or more yards the former Florida State product only needs 11 more to break Jason Hason’s NFL record. I’m sure the Raiders wouldn’t be horrible all five years to though, but it will definitely be an interesting and exciting time for the Raiders that hopefully eventually does see them going back to the postseason.