With the 2018 free agency period only a month away, NFL teams are already in the process of setting up their rosters to position themselves as well as possible for the future. The Oakland Raiders, coming off a disappointing 6-10 campaign, are naturally also doing this – and they have started by informing their most experienced player that he will not return next year.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, kicker Sebastian Janikowski will be a free agent soon:
Raiders informed kicker Sebastian Janikowski today that they do not plan to bring him back for the 2018 season, per source. An 18-year run with Raiders comes to an end.
Janikowski played the 2017 season on a one-year, $3.0 million contract but only a few days after the deal was placed on injured reserve because of a back injury. While the 39-year old sat out the year because of it, his replacement Giorgio Tavecchio proved himself a capable replacement by converting 49 of 55 total kicking attempts (89.1%) throughout the season. The team will now move forward with Tavecchio instead of Janikowski.
This also means that the veteran will leave Oakland after 18 seasons – leaving only one player from the 2000 draft class with his original team: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who was chosen 182 picks after first-round selection Janikowski, is still the undisputed number one option in New England despite already being 40 years old. As such, he will continue his record run with franchise for the foreseeable future.
Janikowski, meanwhile, is on the verge of seeing his career end – which would then leave Brady as the lone players standing from the first draft of the century.