Janikowski cashes in, will Seymour get tagged?


Whatever disappointment Sebastian Janikowski felt by missing the Pro Bowl after a deserving season was pushed into the background after he signed a four-year contract making him the NFL’s highest paid place kicker.

The terms, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and delayed here while problems were worked out for logging in to the blog software, are the same as punter Shane Lechler received last season _ four years, $16 million, with $9 million guaranteed.

“He is the best kicker in the NFL and the Raiders have recognized that fact by rewarding him with this monstrous contract,” said Paul Healy, the agent for Janikowski. “He loves it in Oakland and wanted to be there. Give Al Davis credit for stepping up an doing what it takes to keep him there.”

No confirmation from the Raiders, who usually wait until the contract is approved by the league before making an announcement.

Actually, the Raiders went ahead and confirmed the signing on their Web site.

A 10-year veteran, Janikowski’s run-ins with the law at Florida State and then with the Raiders, all which involved drinking, have become distant memories.

At a reunion in San Leandro hosted by Jon Gruden in December, Janikowski put in a brief appearance, mingling with some old teammates, drinking ice water with lemon and leaving early the night before a game.

Late in the season, I saw Janikowski headed towards his car in the parking lot, munching on a salad.

When I mentioned it to Lechler, he laughed and said, “he’s in a contract year.’’

While Lechler has been among the elite at his position since his rookie season, Janikowski has yet to make a Pro Bowl and until the last few years it was still up in the air as to whether he was actually worth the first-round draft choice Al Davis spent on him in 2000.

It took until this season for Janikowski, 9-for-10 between 40 and 49 yards, to bring his percentage up to 70 percent for his career in that range.

Tennessee’s Rob Bironas, for example, is 76.8 for his career from 40 to 49. Janikowski is 77.7 percent from that range (21-for-27) in the last four years, distances that are truly money kicks for NFL place kickers.

An elite NFL kicker, or any professional kicker for that matter, should be nearly automatic from 39 yards and in. Percentages normally begin dropping off at the 40-plus range.

From 50-plus, Janikowski is 25-for-51, including 6-for-8 this year, but his percentage suffers from some absurdly long attempts because of his range _ most notably the 76-yard prayer dialed up by Lane Kiffin in his last act as a Raiders head coach.

Next up for the Raiders is Richard Seymour, who can expect the franchise tag if he doesn’t first sign a long-term deal.

I’m expecting the tag rather than the contract.

Considering the $41 million Albert Haynesworth defensive tackle got from Washington last year, and the highest comps at defensive end _ $30 million guaranteed to Dwight Freeney of Indianpapolis and $31 million to Jared Allen _ giving a huge sum of upfront money to Seymour with a potential lockout in 2011 is a risky proposition.

Instead, the Raiders could pay Seymour the franchise figure of $12.398 million (or potentially more if he is an exclusive franchise player), lock him up again in 2011 and then not be on the hook for his salary should there be a work stoppage.

It’s also a legitimate question as to whether Seymour, seeking his last big contract at age 31, played at a level which earned him the kind of money in the Haynesworth-Freeney-Allen realm.

There were times when Seymour looked like what he was in New England _ one of the NFL’s best defensive players and an unblockable force up front. There were other periods where Seymour’s presence did little to prevent Oakland from being among the most porous run defenses in the NFL.

Wisniewski talks with Redskins

Steve Wisniewski, the former Raiders guard who has expressed a desire to return to coaching, has interviewed with the Washington Redskins for a position as an assistant offensive line coach under head coach Mike Shanahan and line coach Chris Foerster.

Wisniewski was a rookie with the Raiders in 1989 when Shanahan was an in-season casualty of Al Davis, replaced by Art Shell. He has spent time in training camp with the Raiders as observer and you wonder if Wisniewski couldn’t conceivably a candidate for the same position in Oakland, given his good standing wit the organization and ties with the community.

Meanwhile, Washington has hired Paul Kelly, a former coaches’ assistant to Jon Gruden in Oakland and Tampa Bay and to Bill Callahan in Oakland, as the administrative assistant for Shanahan.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Was Marshall a good hire? Compared to Rob Ryan maybe, but that again is just a case of one turd making another turd look good.

    Let me dig up the stats.


    09′ under Marshall

    23rd in points allowed per game
    26th in yards allowed per game
    7th in pass D
    29th in rush D

    08′ under Ryan

    24th in points allowed per game
    27th in yards allowed per game
    10th in pass D
    31st in rush D

    Nothing to write home about IMO.

    With the exception of one good year in SF, Marshall has been a average to below average DC, especially against the run.

  • SteveAlford21

    I was greatly in favor of signing Losman and I think he should have his chance more than just that ONE snap he played last year for us. When I said that I want an open competition in camp, I meant for Russell, Gradkowski, Losman, Frye, and anyone else we can get to come in who is hopefully an upgrade over all of the aforementioned. I am calling Gradkowski the guy for now based on his comparison to Russell so far and the fact that we have no real basis of comparison for Losman yet. You can’t call Losman’s non-NFL success a valid look at what he’ll do for us any more than you can use the one play he was in last year as a basis for same. I had high hopes for Losman and still do, but he hasn’t proven anything yet, while Gradkowski HAS proven that he’s an upgrade over Russell. It’s Grads until someone takes the position and shows that it’s theirs in an open competition (in MY opinion).

  • SteveAlford21

    Debo, I would be glad to explain myself on that one.

    Remember the game that we won in Denver when Russell came off the bench? Do you remember a 4th-and-forever that we thankfully converted with Russell in there? If JR was better at playing his position, then he might have some manageable 3rd downs instead of 3rd and long that turns into 4th and long. And I don’t hate Russell… I hate the fact that he hasn’t put in the work to be where a guy who just finished his third season should be. I hate that he can’t read both sides of the field. I hate that he’s overweight. I hate that he holds the ball below his waist when he drops back. I hate that he fumbles whenever a defender touches him (better than DMAC tackling himself and stripping the ball from himself on the way down, though). I hate that he throws behind or over receivers across the middle. I hate that he had a 2-9 TD-INT ratio last year. I don’t hate him as a person, but I hate what he’s done so far as a Raider… and until he dedicates himself and does what he needs to do in order to succeed, I will continue to hate the fact that he’s on the roster.

  • SteveAlford21

    Okay, I just had an epiphany. #2’s best production after game 1 last year came in his relief appearances, right? Okay, I have decided that I am in favor of keeping Russell for the year as the emergency QB and instead of letting him start every preseason game, we let him play the entire second half of each preseason game. That way he gets a lot more snaps in game situations and they’re against second and third string defenses so he has a chance to improve. I’m okay with him on the roster this season as long as there are no expectations or responsibilities placed on him other than to learn and improve and get in shape (and stay there). As long as he’s not the starter or asked to be, then I’m okay with him being here with the goal of someday getting him to that point. For now, though, he’s not there and isn’t ready to be thrust into that position.

  • SteveAlford21


    The inability to stop the run last year was more a function of horrible offensive line play letting offensive linemen get to the second level with their blocks than it was of bad defensive playcalling. If our defensive tackles were better than second-string quality (for any other team), then the run d wouldn’t be so porous. The reason that Morrison leads the team in tackles is because opponents just keep running it right up the middle on us with offensive guards and centers destroying Kelly and Warren with Morrison left holding the bag seven yards downfield to make the tackle when the ballcarriers run through the massive holes up front. You can’t blame the lack of run stoppage on the coordinator when the DTs can’t fight off a block. You can’t blame the run d’s yards against average on Marshall any more than you could on Ryan.

    My argument against Ryan wasn’t about run d yardage, it was about how he went to a prevent defense every time we had a lead in hte fourth quarter… EVERY TIME. No matter how much time was left in the game. He caused us to lose more “won” games than anyone or anything else during his tenure. The only times that Ryan didn’t kill us in those situations were when we blocked a field goal against the Browns as time expired to keep the lead and in the game where Kiffin used the sneaky timeout just before the snap of a potential game-winning field goal and then the opponent missed the second try. If not for those two incidents, Ryan’s fourth quarter stupidity would’ve cost us two more than the many that it did anyway.

  • RaiderDebo

    With two minutes left in the game and and an offensive line that’s a sieve, who the hell cares how many downs it takes to pick up a 1st down? There was absolutely no luck involved. It was because of JR’s arm strength, accuracy, physical toughness and his ability to overcome extreme adversity that the Raiders were able to pull that game out. Since it’s obvious you don’t remember, go back and look at that 4th and 10 play. Our OL had opened the floodgates in the 4th qtr. Charlie Frye got knocked out and both JR and Losman took devastating hits. But on that play, JR used his pocket presence and mobilility to cooly slide left away from Vonnie Hollliday, who had been living in the backfield, and fired a perfect strike to Tony Stewart who was in single coverage. Under the pressure of the rush and the pressure of losing the game, JR found the right guy and put the ball where only the receiver could catch it for a 1st down. Oh, and it was on the road too. After that, he couldn’t be stopped and you know how it ended. Bottom line, I don’t care what you think of the guy. There’s no way you can take that victory from him. It was his THIRD game winning/tying drive of the season. How many of those do Flacco or Ryan have in their careers? This guy is clearly special.

  • SteveAlford21

    I wasn’t taking the win away from him, merely stating that it took getting a miracle completion on fourth and forever to keep that drive going. Given JR’s completion percentage, there’s no arguing that it’s a miracle that he converted, especially since there was heat in his face. If Russell has such amazing qualities in his “arm strength, accuracy, physical toughness and his ability to overcome extreme adversity,” then why was his record such horrible crap and why were his only decent performances after game 1 last year in relief appearances? If he’s really such a great QB like you’re trying to imply, then why did he produce so little when Gradkowski produced double the numbers with the same offensive line? You can’t blame the O Line for it all when someone else stepped in and beat playoff teams (except Pittsburgh, who fell off after the SB of the previous year, and KC). Taking all things into account, a guy that you all call a journeyman and say is pure crap (Gradkowski) performed much better than the guy that you’re saying is so admirable.

  • SteveAlford21

    Just to clarify, I’m not defending the offensive line, either. They suck and are all scrap-heap castoffs. We need massive upgrades on the offensive line. I was just saying that you can’t use the offensive line to excuse JR’s troubles when Gradkowski was behind the same line and performed much better. The O Line sucks, DHB can’t catch, and DMAC tackles himself and then strips the ball from himself on his way down. Those are all problems. The fact that those problems exist doesn’t take away from the fact that Russell is a problem, too. I know you want to defend your guy, but the numbers don’t lie. Wins, completions, touchdowns, third down conversions, first downs… in every way except height, weight, interceptions, and fumbles… Gradkowski gives us more than Russell does.

  • RaiderDebo

    Steve, the same OL got Grads knocked out for the year. The guy doesn’t have the physical stature or tools to start in this league. It’s not like he hasn’t had his chances. And he played with Chaz during all his starts and DHB for only two of them. If you really want to compare appples to apples, how did Grads do in relief appearances agaisnt the Jets and Kansas City? Grads didn’t lead the offense to ONE point. Those are the only two instances where you can say he played with the same supporting cast as JR. Tell me one thing you liked about his performance against the Cowboys?

  • names2long

    Spending $8 million a year on a kicker and a punter??!!!! Yikes!! Al must have accidentally added a zero to the figures when presenting Shane’s contract and forgotten to fix the error with Sea-bass’s…lol.. Seriously, $4 million a year for both will get you the cream of the kicking crop, and the other $4 million could buy someone to stop the run (which might actually help this team win some games).