Sebastian Janikowski will not play again for the Oakland Raiders this year and possibly won’t take the field again.
For Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski, 2017 was a contract year.
The long-time superstar leg of the Raiders renegotiated his contract in the offseason in preparation for free agency next year. The kicker took a pay cut to stay with the team but it’s being anticipated that he and the Raiders might part ways after 2017, though no official word yet.
Now that the final Injury Reserve report has been released, stating Janikowski will not return to play this year, that assumption is almost a certainty. “Seabass,” as he’s fondly referred to by the fans, is the last remaining draft pick still in Silver and Black of the late, great Al Davis, who passed away in 2011.
The Raiders’ all-time leading scorer suffered a back injury before Week 1, prompting the team to call up perennial pre-season kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. Tavecchio has not been just a placeholder. He’s fighting tooth and nail to prove his worth to the team and has done a more than adequate job in the process.
The “Polish Cannon” has saved this team time and time again, sometimes being the only player to score for weeks at a time (see seasons 2004-2013). That’s a long-term relationship, longer than any other Raider since they last won a Superbowl. It will be difficult to say goodbye. Even so, both the team and Janikowski have to be aware that all good things must come to an end.
Given the performance of the young upstart, the most likely scenario is that “Jano” will be looking for a new team next year. Still, Raider Nation will be in mourning for the last remaining Raider of the Davis era. The departure of “Seabass” marks a very monumental but lamentable milestone in Raiders history: the end of the Age of the Maverick.