Raiders release statement wishing Sebastian Janikowski farewell
In a statement released on Thursday, the Raiders praised Janikowski for his outstanding career with the organization.
“The Raider Nation salutes Sebastian Janikowski as the sun sets on his illustrious career with the Oakland Raiders,” team owner Mark Davis said. “He joined the team as a surprise first-round pick in the 2000 Draft and finishes his time in Oakland as one of the greatest or perhaps the greatest kicker in pro football history. His powerful left leg produced an NFL-record 55 field goals of 50-or-more yards. The motto ‘Once a Raider, Always a Raider’ has never been more true as his 18-year career makes him the longest-tenured player in Raiders history. Sebastian, his wife, Lori, and their three children will always be a loved and treasured part of the Raiders family.”
The team also shared a tribute video on social media:
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) February 15, 2018
Janikowski did not kick for the Raiders in 2017 due to a back injury, and that was the first time he missed a game since 2011. He had only missed four games in 17 seasons prior to that. Giorgio Tavecchio served as Oakland’s kicker for the season in Janikowski’s place last year.
While he will turn 40 in March, Janikowski would likely be given another shot if he wants to keep kicking. He made 82.9 percent of his field goals in 2016, but five of his misses came from beyond 50 yards. The former first-round pick is known for having one of the strongest legs in NFL history, and there’s at least one NFL that had a disaster of a kicker situation last season.