Kicker Sebastian Janikowski not coming back for Raiders

Updated February 14, 2018 - 7:06 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — The end of the Sebastian Janikowski Era was foretold months ago.

Officially on Wednesday, he was told.

The Raiders notified their all-time games and points leader that he’s not part of their plans for 2018, his agent, Paul Healy, confirmed. Janikowski still remains on the roster, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 14. ESPN first reported the conversation between the Raiders and Janikowski.

Janikowski, who turns 40 on March 2, said he’s not done yet.

“He plans on getting another job,” Healy said in a phone interview. “Unfortunately, he had this back issue. He’s healthy now, and he’s ready to go.”

Jon Gruden, rehired last month, was entering his third season as Raiders coach in 2000 when then-owner Al Davis made Janikowski the fourth kicker in NFL history to be drafted in the first round. No specialist has been selected there since.

Anchored by a thundering left leg, a storied career followed.

Janikowski converted 80.3 percent of field goals (414 of 515 attempts). With 55, he owns the NFL record for most field goals of 50 or more yards, reaching the total on 100 attempts. His 268 regular-season games played and 1,799 points scored are franchise records. Those marks rank 23rd and 11th in club history.

But the back injury forced Janikowski to miss last season. The club technically could have activated him from injured reserve during the season, but that proved not to be feasible. Then-coach Jack Del Rio said Janikowski’s back still ailed him.

There also was the matter of Janikowski’s successor.

Giorgio Tavecchio, 27, represented an upgrade at kickoffs in this stage of Janikowski’s career — the power of the Poland native was unmatched in his earlier years. Tavecchio also had an efficient start, converting all nine field goals in his first six games. In Week 1, he became the first player in NFL history to make multiple field goals of 50 or more yards in his debut, hitting two from 52 yards in a 26-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.

Tavecchio did not finish 2018 as strong, making seven of 12 tries in the final 10 games. That relative inefficiency lacks some context. It includes, for example, his first miss, a blocked 53-yard field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7.

The Raiders are expected to place a one-year tender on Tavecchio as an exclusive rights free agent. They also might add a second leg to compete during training camp. Such a player probably will be left-footed to facilitate operations with holder Marquette King.

Looking back, Janikowski “couldn’t ask for a better experience (with the Raiders),” Healy said.

He soon can explore a new one elsewhere. Impending free agents can enter contract negotiations with other teams beginning March 12.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant out vs. Arizona
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that the team will be without wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant ahead of their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold indoor walkthrough due to fires
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from smoky Alameda, Calif. as the Raiders move their practice indoors due to the California wildfires.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Vegas Nation: Ateman prepares for NFL debut vs. Cards
Oakland Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains how Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant's injuries could result in seventh round pick Marcell Ateman making his NFL debut this Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant injured in loss to Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines the injuries to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.
Vegas Nation: Chargers Overpower Raiders 20-6
Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss The Raiders loss to the Chargers following the California wildfires and mass shooting
Vegas Nation Mailbag: November 7, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from fans on the Raiders before they take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Gruden downplays sideline encounter with Guenther
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda as Jon Gruden addresses the media for the first time a day after their Thursday Night Football loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Dismantled by 49ers 34-3
The Raiders fall to the 49ers following Nick Mullens' impressive debut for San Francisco.
Vegas Nation: Raiders defense looks to improve against 49ers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses the Raiders defensive woes thus far prior to their Battle of the Bay game against the 49ers.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Oct. 30, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from Raider Nation regarding Derek Carr's performance and Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Raiders seek consistent defensive rotation
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken points out a change in the team's defensive rotation from previous games.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Give up 21 Unanswered Points in Loss to Colts
The Oakland Raiders lose to the Colts after being outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Osemele returns to practice ahead of Colts matchup
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken anticipates that All Pro guard Kelechi Osemele may return against the Indinapolis Colts on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Doug Martin prepares for heavier workload vs. Colts
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses Doug Martin's increased role as a featured back, as well as what the offensive line's health could potentially mean for Martin's performance.
Vegas Nation: Gruden, Smith come to Carr's defense
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda, Calif. as members of the team deny reports of a fractured locker room.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Raiders' Bye Week
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano go over comments from Raider Nation.
Vegas Nation: Draft Picks to Rebuild
Ed Graney discusses the Amari Cooper trade to the Dallas Cowboys and the future first round picks the Raiders will have.
Las Vegas Stadium Livecam
Vegas Nation Mailbag 10-16-2018
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano discuss The Raiders 27-3 loss to the Seahawks in London as The Raiders enter their bye week.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To Seahawks; Cooper Out With Concussion
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken, Sports Columnist Ed Graney and sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the Raiders loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London.
Derek Carr says the team will focus on improving – Heidi Fang
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says the team will do what's necessary to improve following its 27-3 loss in London to the Seattle Seahawks.
Gruden on the Raiders loss to the Seahawks, Cooper's injury – Heidi Fang
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks to media following the team's 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London, England.
A look at NFL sports betting in London
With the NFL introducing England to different teams each year since 2007, Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney asked fans in London ahead of the Oakland Raiders vs. Seattle Seahawks how often they flock to them to place wagers on American football.
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like