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.”