Sebastian Janikowski hopeful for additional 7-8 years run with Raiders
But throughout all that one thing remained consistent – Janikowski’s kicking partner and close friend Shane Lechler, who had been his holder since entering the NFL with Janikowski in 2000. Shane Lechler was recently part of the changes the Oakland Raiders made this offseason, after they opted not to re-sign him. The veteran punter ended up signing with the Houston Texans instead, and the Raiders brought in two new punters for training camp.
Now, entering his 14th NFL season, Janikowski is still excited about the upcoming season, a contract year. Despite all the changes, Janikowski said he would like to re-sign with the Raiders and play another seven to eight years to eventually end his NFL career with the team.
“Shane and me were such good buddies but it’s business…That doesn't affect my decision,” expressed Janikowski. “I would love to stay here and finish my career. This is where I started and where I would like to finish…I can go seven or eight years. If I stay healthy, I can keep going.”
“I want to play as long as I can and win the Super Bowl,” added Janikowski. “That’s the ultimate goal.”
Once said to party too much and boast a history of run-ins with the law, Janikowski has greatly matured over the years, while attempting to make a niche for himself in the NFL and team history. Janikowski is the longest tenured Oakland Raiders player, who ranks as the team’s No.1 scorer with scored 1,389 points in his career. The 35-year-old leads the NFL in kickoffs for touchbacks, and is among the four kickers tied for the longest kick connected in NFL history (a 63-yard field goal). Janikowski is also tied for second in NFL history for most field goals of 50 yards and beyond (42).
“I knew I had the leg and the talent, but I have been fortunate enough to stay healthy and hopefully I have many more years to come,” Janikowski said. “You're getting older, and there's a lot of guys out there younger than you. You just got to keep up with it. It's your job. You got to take it seriously.”
Despite his vast experience, Janikowski isn’t taking this offseason easy considering he has to get accustomed to the timing with a new holder this year. He showed up for the Oakland Raiders’ first week of OTAs last month – a voluntary practice he usually skipped in the past.
“You gotta move on. We’ve got some new guys and we gotta work on it,” Janikowski said of the change of his holder. “It was weird the first day but you get used to it.”
“I'm going to get back here early before training camp, and we're going to work on it,” he said on getting some extra work done with punters Chris Kluwe and Marquette King. “The timing is going to be different. Going into training camp, I want to feel more comfortable with it.”