Several times in recent years Sebastian Janikowski has said he wants to play into his 40s. That day is coming in two weeks. Two weeks after that, his contract with the Raiders will officially be up. But, despite the Raiders announcing Janikowski’s time in Oakland is done — the only team he’s ever played for — he is not planning on his NFL career being over.
Despite the Raiders bidding him farewell, Sebastian Janikowski intends to keep playing. “At 39, he’s too young to retire,” said Janikowski’s contract advisor, Paul Healy.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 15, 2018
Kicker is one of those positions that can easily play into one’s 40s if the player takes care of himself. Janikowski wasn’t known for taking care of himself for most of his career, but got in shape in recent years with the help of new teammate, punter Marquette King.
The question for Janikowski is if his back will fully recover. He missed all of last season with a back injury. Though at the time it seemed rather shocking considering the decision didn’t come down until the eve of the season opener. That’s when he went to Jack Del Rio and said he couldn’t go. The team then called up Giorgio Tavecchio from the practice squad and he was the team’s kicker all season.
Tavecchio held down the job well, which makes you wonder if, had he been struggling, whether Janikowski could have returned. We may never know.
Where could Janikowski land? Well, the first most obvious team would seem to be Tampa, where the Buccaneers split last season between kickers Nick Folk and Patrick Murray. Janikowski is a Florida State alum so it would be a homecoming of sorts for him. For that matter, you could stay in Florida and also say the Jaguars, who also split the season between two kickers.