That was fast. Just after reports had the Raiders working out three kickers, we find out the reason why. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders have asked Sebastian Janikowski to rework his contract and thus far he has refused.
The Raiders’ 2000 first round pick is entering the final year of a 5-year deal that pays him a base salary of $4.05 million this season. He is the league’s fourth highest paid kicker. The Raiders would like to bring that number down and it’s uncertain if Janikowski will agree to it.
According to the report, this situation must be resolved by Tuesday when his contract becomes guaranteed. The resolution being either Janikowski agrees to a new, reworked deal, or they could release him, opting instead to sign one of the three kickers they worked out over the weekend.
Cutting Janikowski would leave behind just $360K, so there isn’t a lot of leverage on his part. That being said, it would not be the way anyone wanted his Raiders career to end. He has said he would like to play into his 40s. Should he play out his contract this season, he would be 40 years old at the end of the league year in March, having played his entire 18-year career with the Raiders.
The Raiders and Donald Penn were at a contract impasse this offseason, resulting in Penn holding out for the duration of training camp. One would assume the money they are looking to save from this deal would be used to appease Penn, but we’ll see.