NAPA -- Sebastian Janikowski will be a Raider for life. A four-year contract extension signed on Friday virtually ensures it.
It also sustains his title as the NFL’s highest-paid kicker. According to a league source, Janikowski can make $18.9 million over the life of the contract, which contains $8 million in guaranteed money paid over the first two years.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie contacted Janikowski this offseason to discuss an extension and an accord was quickly reached. It was a relief for Janikowski, who wanted to retire a Raider.
Considering he’ll be 40 when this deal is done, that’s likely the case.
“Staying a Raider was the goal,” Janikowski said. “To play with one team is awesome. I love it, being here and I want to finish here.”
If Janikowski completes his contract in full health, he’ll become the team's longest tenured player. He has 204 games played, and would eclipse Tim Brown’s 240 when the extension ends after the 2014 season.
He’s already the team’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,389 points since being selected No. 17 overall in the 2000 NFL draft.
He’ll play 2013 under the terms of his current contract, which made him the highest-paid kicker back in 2010. He’ll earn a $3.875 million base salary in 2013, with a pro-rated signing bonus and escalators that could make the deal worth $5.1 million.
Janikowski never considered jumping ship despite the Raiders recent struggles. He believes the team will turn things around, and the Raiders will be winners before his career concludes.
“I love being here and I see the changes,” Janikowski said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got the right coaches and players. People are going to be surprised, I think, this year what we can do.”
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Janikowski’s extension also proves that the Raiders are nearly free from their salary-cap shackles. Prior to Janikowski’s deal, the Raiders had more that $50 million in salary-cap space in 2014, which allows McKenzie to sign his players to contract extensions.
Left tackle Jared Velheer, running back Darren McFadden and defensive end Lamarr Houston are lifetime Raiders entering the final year of their rookie contracts.
The Raiders also brought in several players on one-year contracts, giving McKenzie the freedom to select the players he wants to return in 2014.