Retirement plans for Raiders' kicker? Not 'until they kick me out'

Retirement plans for Raiders' kicker? Not 'until they kick me out'

ALAMEDA – Sebastian Janikowski is built like a linebacker. The Raiders roster lists him at 6-foot-1 and 265 pounds, a frame with enough muscle running backs wouldn’t want him charging through the A gap.

Placekickers aren’t that big. Like, ever.

Janikowski is a power hitter who doesn’t want to lose that title. He still routinely converts field goals from long distance, even at 39 years old. He plans to do so well into his 40s.

Janikowski’s retirement plan is a simple one. He won’t leave the NFL “until they kick me out.”

He plans to accompany the Raiders when they leave in 2020 at the latest for Las Vegas.

“I hope so,” Janikowski said. “That’s my goal, but it’s not my decision.”

He would need a new contract to make it that far. His current deal expires after this season and is slated to pay him $4.05 million next season.

Janikowski must stay on top of his fitness and his game to retain NFL employment with the team that drafted a kicker No. 17 overall in 2001. Janikowski has done exactly that lately. He puts in serious strength work during the offseason program – he never used to attend – and watches film now after special teams coordinator Brad Seely talked him into it.

“Before Brad, I never watched film in my life,” Janikowski said. “It’s something that helps. It was great and gives good pointers. He has a good idea about kicking, and likens it to a golf swing.”

Janikowski can hit the little white ball far, straight and true, as he has been doing to footballs 17 seasons now. He’s always near perfect within 49 yards, but hit just 3-of-8 from 50-plus in 2017. His power is still there, and Seely is still confident Janikowski isn’t slowing down.

“He feels good about it and we feel good about it,” Seely said. “It’s all about the confidence you have, and he knows he has the leg to get it there and put it through the pipes.”

Report: Raiders bring Reggie Nelson back


Report: Raiders bring Reggie Nelson back

Reggie Nelson has been on a reunion tour since signing with the Raiders. He first worked under Jack Del Rio, his head coach in Jacksonville and someone who choose to make him 2007’s No. 21 overall draft pick.

That link held for two years. Then Del Rio got run out in favor of Jon Gruden and Nelson hit the free-agent market. The 34-year old – he’ll be 35 in September – wasn’t expected back after a down year in 2017.

Another blast from the past created a road back to Oakland, where he reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Raiders. NFL Network reported news of Nelson’s pact.

Nelson thrived, with 23 interceptions and 62 passes defensed during six seasons in Cincinnati. New Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was linebackers coach and then Bengals DC (for two years) during Nelson’s time in the Queen City.

Nelson had five picks in 2016, his first year with Oakland, but seemed to slow down some last season. He had 60 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception in 2017.

Nelson will help teach a system familiar to him but foreign to most Raiders, but will certainly angle for steady snaps despite increased competition at his spot. 

He’ll compete for snaps at safety despite last week’s signing of Marcus Gilchrist, expected to take his spot, though it might be an uphilll climb. Gilchrist and Joseph should still be expected to start next season. The Raiders also have Obi Melifonwu at that position, though the second-year pro must earn a role in this defense. The other three have starter’s experience and will compete for that opportunity. Gilchrist also has experience covering the slot, which could help the secondary if a career cornerback isn't found to fill that role. 

Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order


Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Oakland Raiders player Aldon Smith surrendered to police Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence restraining order.

San Francisco police said the 28-year-old Smith turned himself and was booked on three misdemeanor charges of violating a court order to stay away from a domestic violence victim.

Earlier this month, Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges and a judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Police said Smith violated the restraining order earlier this week.

Smith’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return a voicemail message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Raiders released the linebacker days after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

He had been on the suspended list since late 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.