Nearly ten years after the Oakland Raiders drafted Sebastian Janikowski supposedly way too high for a placekicker, they've decided to keep him around and pay him supposedly way too much money for a placekicker. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Raiders have re-signed Janikowski for another four years in a deal that makes him by far the highest-paid placekicker in NFL history.
Oh, to be Sebastian Janikowski's bartender this evening.
I kid, I kid. Janikowski has completely cleaned up his act. During his first two seasons as a Raider, Janikowski was hauled to court for bribing police, found in possession of GHB, got himself a DUI, and then started a fistfight while vandalizing automobiles in the parking lot of an exclusive Walnut Creek restaurant.
But Janikowski has stayed out of trouble since, and has not been arrested once in the last six years. There are plenty of Cincinnati Bengals who can't say that.
Janikowski would have been an unrestricted free agent had the Raiders not gotten this done by March 5. But they now have Seabass locked up through the 2014 season, paying him a full million bucks a year more than the NFL's previous highest-paid placekicker, Robbie Gould of the Chicago Bears.
It was probably a wise move on the Raiders' part. Janikowski would have hit the open market right after a post-season in which all of the AFC's top kickers completely embarrassed themselves by missing easy field goal attempts. Shayne Graham of the Bengals missed two chip shots in a playoff loss, Dan Carpenter of the Dolphins missed an easy 36-yard attempt in the Pro Bowl, and Matt Stover's miss is considered the turning point of the Colts' Super Bowl XLIV loss.
And what Raiders fan cannot fondly recall the Chargers' Nate Kaeding missing three -- count 'em -- three field goal attempts in a nip-and-tuck playoff loss to the Jets?
A kicker as powerful and accurate as Janikowski, would have been a widely coveted property in this year's free agency proceedings, but Janikowski will fortunately not hit the market. Factor in punter Shane Lechler's 2009 contract extension, and you now figure the Raiders should have the NFL's best kicking tandem through at least the 2013 season.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would still advise you to keep an eye on your car this evening if you plan on having dinner at an exclusive restaurant in Walnut Creek.