The Oakland Raiders have the looks of a Super Bowl contender heading into the 2017 NFL season. Behind Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, the Raiders look poised to take the AFC West title this year and make the deep postseason run most pundits are expecting.
While placekickers seem to be an afterthought in most offenses, it is not the case when it comes to the Raiders’ Sebastian Janikowski. The 39-year-old has been a fixture in Oakland since he was drafted back in 2000 and has been one of the NFL’s most successful kickers to date. However, Janikowski and the Raiders were at an impasse over his contract situation amid the team’s concerns about his age and recent back injury.
#Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski agreed to a small paycut, going from $4M to $3M — fully guaranteed. Could free up space for Donald Penn 🤔
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 7, 2017
The silver and black made a couple of large financial commitments this summer after agreeing to five-year extensions with Carr and Gabe Jackson. As Rapoport noted, the small pay cut Janikowski took may give the team the necessary wiggle room to reach an agreement with Donald Penn.
With last season’s core pieces largely intact, Oakland has a real shot at making some noise during the year. Despite their defensive woes, analysts and fans are expecting big things from the Raiders and it will be interesting to see whether or not they can live up to such high expectations.