It’s not quite like Jerry Rice or Franco Harris playing out the end of their careers with the Seattle Seahawks, but it will still be strange to see kicker Sebastian Janikowski in Seattle’s uniform.
Janikowski’s first NFL team other than the Raiders
Janikowski was memorably picked in the first round of the 2000 draft by the Oakland Raiders, and that’s the only NFL team he has played for. Put it this way: The Seahawks will be the first team Janikowski has played for since Florida State, when he and his Seminoles teammates beat Michael Vick and Virginia Tech in a memorable Sugar Bowl. Janikowski was with the Raiders for a really long time.
Janikowski stuck around with the Raiders so long he compiled 1,799 points, the most in Raiders history.
Why the Seahawks?
The Seahawks changed kickers last year, and it did not go well. They let Stephen Hauschka go to the Buffalo Bills, and signed former Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh to replace him. Walsh drew the scorn of Seahawks fans after he missed eight field-goal attempts as the Seahawks missed the playoffs.
Seattle signed former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Jason Myers right after the season. Myers will compete with Janikowski, and is insurance in case Janikowski doesn’t look good in camp.
Does Janikowski have anything left?
That’s tough to say, because he missed all last season. Janikowski missed the entire season with a back injury, which is tough to rebound from at his age. Janikowski turned 40 on March 2. He was also in danger of getting cut before last season, before the extent of his back injury was known, but the Raiders kept him after he accepted a pay cut. That is a sign the Raiders were worried about Janikowski’s ability to keep producing last season.
At his best, Janikowski is one of the best long-distance kickers the NFL has seen. But after almost two decades in the NFL and a back injury that knocked him out for a season, it’s no sure thing he has the same leg strength he has become known for.
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