Feb. 14-- ALAMEDA, Calif.-Veteran place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who has played more games than any player in franchise history, won't return to the Raiders in 2018, according to an ESPN report.
Janikowski, an 18-year veteran, missed the entire 2017 season on injured reserve with a back injury, with Giorgio Tavecchio taking over place kicking duties.
His exit comes as no surprise, given the Raiders remained with Tavecchio all season and Janikowski was never brought off injured reserve. He made $3 million in salary in 2017, taking a $1 million pay cut late in the preseason before being injured.
Tavecchio, who made $465,000 on a one-year deal, is an exclusive rights free agent who can be retained if the Raiders make a qualifying offer.
Janikowski, who could not be reached for comment, cleaned out his locker three-quarters of the way into the season and by the end of the year had moved from his East Bay home to Florida. Tavecchio converted 16 of 21 field-goal attempts with a long of 53 yards and had 48 touchbacks while kicking off.
One of the most controversial draft picks of late owner Al Davis, Janikowski was the No. 17 overall selection in 2000 after being a two-time Lou Groza award winner at Florida State as the best kicker in college football.
In 1999, the Raiders finished 8-8 in large part because of place kicking issues.
Janikowski played in just one Pro Bowl, but the Raiders made him the NFL's wealthiest kicker, giving him a four-year, $16 million contract in 2009 and then an extension in 2013 worth $15.1 million.
Coming out of Florida State with legal issues, including alleged possession of the drug GHB and charged with bribery of a police officer. Janikowski was acquitted of the bribery charge. He later had issues related to drinking with the Raiders but settled down after becoming a married father of two later in his career.
Janikowski played in a franchise record 268 games (passing Tim Brown's 240) and holds the NFL record with 55 field goals of 50 or more yards. He had 16 field goals in either the fourth quarter or overtime that were game-winners and finished his career 11th in scoring in NFL history with 1,799 points.
Only two active place kickers have scored more points-Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts (2,487) and Phil Dawson of the Arizona Cardinals (1,817).
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