Sebastian Janikowski
refer to caption
Janikowski with the Raiders in 2012
No. 11
Personal information
Born: (1978-03-02) March 2, 1978 (age 45)
Wałbrzych, Poland
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Seabreeze (Daytona Beach, Florida)
College:Florida State (1997–1999)
NFL Draft:2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Field goals:436/542
Field goal %:80.4
Longest field goal:63
Player stats at · PFR

Sebastian Paweł Janikowski (Polish pronunciation: [sɛˈbastjan jaɲiˈkɔfskʲi]; born March 2, 1978) is a Polish former American football player who was a placekicker in the National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons, primarily with the Oakland Raiders. He played college football for the Florida State Seminoles and was selected 17th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Raiders, where he spent all but one season of his professional career.[1] During his final season in the NFL, he played for the Seattle Seahawks.

One of only three NFL placekickers to be selected in the first round of an NFL draft, Janikowski is the Raiders' all-time leading scorer and appeared in more games with the franchise than any other player. He also tied the then-NFL record for the longest successful field goal at 63 yards, which is the third-longest in league history.

Early years

Sebastian Janikowski was born on March 2, 1978, as an only child to Henryk and Halina Janikowski in Wałbrzych, Poland. His father was a professional soccer player, and moved to the United States in the early 1980s in the hopes of reviving his career. Years after Janikowski's father emigrated from Poland, his parents divorced and Henryk married an American citizen. Left at home with just his mother, Janikowski began to excel at soccer himself, and when he was 15, Janikowski earned a spot on the Polish under-17 team.

His father's marriage to an American meant Janikowski could legally emigrate to the United States. He spoke very little English, but learned quickly by taking a three-week night class and by watching television. Janikowski played in only five games for the Orangewood Christian soccer team, but led them to the Class A State Championship game by scoring 15 goals, where they lost to Lakeland Christian on penalty kicks (3–2). Then living in Orlando, Florida with his father and stepmother, Janikowski joined the Orlando Lions, an under-19 soccer club coached by Angelo Rossi. Rossi was also the soccer coach at Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, and convinced Henryk that his son would be better off there. Henryk agreed, but was unwilling to move, so Janikowski moved in with Rossi's family.[2]

During his senior year at Seabreeze, Janikowski played both soccer and football after being recruited by the school's football coach. As the team's placekicker, he quickly earned a reputation by kicking four field goals of 50+ yards. One of them was for 60 yards, third-best in Florida high school history. During a practice at Seabreeze High, he kicked an 82-yard field goal.[2] USA Today named Janikowski to its 1996 All-American team. After being heavily recruited by some of the top collegiate football programs, Janikowski decided on Florida State University.[2]

College career

Janikowski lining up for a kick during a game at Doak Campbell Stadium in 1997
Janikowski lining up for a kick during a game at Doak Campbell Stadium in 1997

Janikowski attended Florida State University, where he played for coach Bobby Bowden's Florida State Seminoles football team. Bowden later said, "Boy, have you ever thought about (I have!) how many national championships we might have won if we had Janikowski every year of my career?"[3] In three seasons, he amassed a career scoring total of 324 points (3rd all-time for the school). In 1999, he won the Lou Groza Award for the second year in a row, an honor given annually to the nation's top collegiate kicker. Janikowski is currently the only player to win this award two years in a row. He became popular with fans for being able to placekick a kick-off through the endzone uprights, having done it so often that the stadium monitors would display field goal graphics even though it was a kick-off and not an actual field goal attempt.

Janikowski was first called "Seabass" while playing for FSU. Wide receiver Peter Warrick began calling him Seabass since he said the name Sebastian was too long.[1]

Janikowski's career at FSU was not without incident. In August 1998, he got into a fight outside of a Tallahassee bar and was charged with failure to leave the premises; he pled no contest to the misdemeanor offense. That same year, the night after a season-ending win over rival Florida, Janikowski got into a fight at a local bar and was charged with battery.

In the 1999 season, FSU was again in contention for a national title. Prior to the team's appearance in the national championship game (the 2000 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana), Janikowski declared his intentions to declare himself eligible for the 2000 NFL Draft, saying his primary reason for foregoing his senior year was to pay for his mother to come to the United States.[4] In his final game for FSU, Janikowski converted 5-of-5 PATs and kicked a 32-yard field goal, helping the Seminoles win their second national championship.

Although Janikowski's skill as a kicker was unquestioned by NFL scouts, his off-the-field behavior was a cause of concern. In January 2000, Janikowski was partying with a group of friends when his high school friend was arrested at a nightclub. Janikowski, who later said he was thinking he could save everyone paperwork and the trouble, approached the arresting officer and asked how much it would take to let his friend go. He was then arrested for attempting to bribe an officer, a charge that carried a $5,000 fine, up to five years in prison, and possible deportation. Janikowski claimed that he thought he could pay a fine to have his friend released, but the officer interpreted the action as an attempted bribe.[5]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight
6 ft 0+78 in
(1.85 m)
260 lb
(118 kg)
Values from NFL Combine[6]

Oakland Raiders

Janikowski was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the 17th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.[7]

Janikowski in November 2008
Janikowski in November 2008

Shortly after the draft, Janikowski was acquitted of his bribery charge. He had testified on his own behalf, stating that he was simply trying to pay his friend's fine (as opposed to bribing the arresting officer). Just eight days after his acquittal, Janikowski and two friends were arrested in Tallahassee on suspicion of felony possession of the drug GHB. Once again, he faced prison time or deportation if convicted, but was acquitted of all charges in April 2001.[8]

Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler in 2007
Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler in 2007

Janikowski's professional career got off to a rough start: in 2000, only 68.8% of his field goal attempts were successful. His accuracy improved dramatically in 2001, when 82.1% of his attempts were successful.

Janikowski reached Super Bowl XXXVII with the Raiders in 2002, and kicked an early field goal in the first quarter. His kick briefly gave the Raiders a 3–0 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This would be the Raiders' only lead of the game; they lost 48–21.

After the 2004 season, Janikowski was given a five-year contract extension reportedly worth $10.5 million. This made him (at the time) the highest paid kicker in NFL history.[9] In February 2010, Janikowski extended his contract with the Raiders for $16 million over the next four years, including $9 million in guaranteed money, making him the highest paid placekicker in NFL history.[10]

On September 12, 2011, in a Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos, he tied the previous NFL record for the longest field goal at 63 yards.[11]

In 2011 Janikowski received an invite to the Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors.[12]

In August 2013, Janikowski signed a four-year contract extension with the Raiders for $19 million over five years, including $8 million guaranteed.[13]

Prior to the 2017 season, he took a pay cut from his $4.05 million base salary to $3 million but it became fully guaranteed. On September 9, 2017, he was placed on injured reserve due to back issues and Giorgio Tavecchio was signed on from the practice squad to temporarily take his place as kicker.[14][15] On February 14, 2018, it was reported that Janikowski would not be re-signed by the Raiders.[16]

Seattle Seahawks

On April 13, 2018, Janikowski signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks.[17] He won the Seahawks starting kicking job after the team released Jason Myers on August 20, 2018.[18] In Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers, Janikowski made all three extra points and three field goals, including a 31-yard game winner as the Seahawks won 30–27. He was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.[19] On January 5, 2019, Janikowski missed a 57-yard field goal against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2019 Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs and suffered a hamstring injury on the same missed field goal kick. The kicker position was then left in the hands of rookie Seahawks punter, Michael Dickson, who missed an onside kick that would have potentially put the Seahawks back in position to score and win the game.


On April 28, 2019, Janikowski announced his retirement after 19 years in the NFL. He ended his career as the Raiders' all-time leading scorer, with 1,799 points.[20]

NFL career statistics

Year Team GP Field Goals Extra Points[a] Points
2000 OAK 14 32 22 54 68.8 46 46 100.0 112
2001 OAK 15 28 23 52 82.1 42 42 100.0 111
2002 OAK 16 33 26 51 78.8 50 50 100.0 128
2003 OAK 16 25 22 55 88.0 29 28 96.6 94
2004 OAK 16 28 25 52 89.3 32 31 96.9 106
2005 OAK 16 30 20 49 66.7 30 30 100.0 90
2006 OAK 16 25 18 55 72.0 16 16 100.0 70
2007 OAK 16 32 23 54 71.9 28 28 100.0 97
2008 OAK 16 30 24 57 80.0 26 25 96.2 97
2009 OAK 16 29 26 61 89.7 17 17 100.0 95
2010 OAK 16 41 33 59 80.5 43 43 100.0 142
2011 OAK 15 35 31 63 88.6 36 36 100.0 129
2012 OAK 16 34 31 57 91.2 25 25 100.0 118
2013 OAK 16 30 21 53 70.0 37 37 100.0 100
2014 OAK 16 22 19 57 86.4 28 28 100.0 85
2015 OAK 16 26 21 56 80.8 39 38 97.4 101
2016 OAK 16 35 29 56 82.9 39 37 94.9 124
2017 OAK 0 did not play due to injury
2018 SEA 16 27 22 56 81.5 51 48 94.1 114
Career 284 542 436 63 80.4 614 605 98.5 1,913


NFL records

Attempts and other records

On October 16, 2003, during the second quarter, Janikowski tied the NFL record by completing 4 field goals in a single quarter.[24]

On November 4, 2007, he attempted to kick a 64-yard record field goal before halftime against the Houston Texans on a windless Oakland afternoon in McAfee Coliseum. If successful, the kick would have broken the all-time NFL field goal record of 63 yards. However, it bounced off the right upright and came back out.[25]

On September 28, 2008, Janikowski unsuccessfully attempted a 76-yard field goal against the San Diego Chargers into the heavy wind right before halftime. This is presumed to be the longest attempt in NFL history; though the league keeps no such records on attempts, the longest known attempts previous to this were 74 yard attempts by Mark Moseley and Joe Danelo in 1979.[26]

On October 19, 2008, Janikowski broke his own Raiders team record, making a 57-yard field goal in overtime to defeat the New York Jets, 16–13, the longest overtime field goal in NFL history. On December 27, 2009, he again broke his own team record by kicking a 61-yard field goal against the Cleveland Browns before halftime. On December 26, 2010, Janikowski converted a 59-yard field goal in the second quarter of a home game against the Indianapolis Colts[27] making him the second player with two 59+ yard field goals (Morten Andersen). On January 3, 2010, he reached his 1,000th career point with a 39-yard field goal against the Baltimore Ravens. He is the highest-scoring player in Raiders history.

On September 12, 2011, as a rainy first half against the Denver Broncos came to a close, Janikowski made a 63-yard field goal and tied the NFL record set by Tom Dempsey in 1970 and previously tied by Jason Elam (1998) and afterwards by David Akers (2012), but which was subsequently broken by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos and Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. On November 27, 2011, in a game against the Chicago Bears, he made 6 field goals of 40, 47, 42, 19, 37, and 44 yards to break the team record of most field goals in a single game.[28] He attempted a record-breaking 65-yard field goal on December 18, 2011, against the Detroit Lions, but Ndamukong Suh blocked it to end the game.


  1. ^ The line of scrimmage for extra point tries moved to the 15-yard line from the two-yard line in 2015.


  1. ^ a b c d " Still standing: Sebastian Janikowski's unlikely path to Raiders royalty". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Layden, Tim. "Big Foot". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Bowden, Bobby (August 19, 2014). "I'm Bobby Bowden: Former FSU head coach, dadgummit. AMA". Reddit. Archived from the original on September 22, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  4. ^ "Video". CNN. December 20, 1999. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  5. ^ "FSU's Janikowski arrested for bribery". Archived from the original on September 2, 2004.
  6. ^ "2000 Draft Scout Sebastian Janikowski, Florida State NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  7. ^ "2000 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  8. ^ "Janikowski acquitted of all drug charges". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  9. ^ "Raiders ink Janikowski to five-year extension".[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Murphy, Brian (February 17, 2010). "Sebastian Janikowski gets the biggest contract for any NFL kicker ever". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  11. ^ " Janikowski ties NFL record with 63-yard FG". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  12. ^ " Janikowski finally makes it to Pro Bowl". December 28, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Breech, John (August 2, 2013). "Raiders ink kicker Sebastian Janikowski to four-year extension". Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  14. ^ Blair, Scott (September 9, 2017). "Raiders place Sebastian Janikowski on injured reserve". Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  15. ^ "Raiders Sign Giorgio Tavecchio; Place Sebastian Janikowski On IR". September 10, 2017. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017.
  16. ^ "Raiders Statement On Sebastian Janikowski". February 15, 2018.
  17. ^ Sessler, Marc (April 13, 2018). "Seattle Seabass: Seahawks sign Sebastian Janikowski".
  18. ^ Boyle, John (August 20, 2018). "Seahawks Waive Kicker Jason Myers, Sign CB Elijah Battle And WR Marvin Bracy".
  19. ^ "Philip Rivers, Amari Cooper among Players of the Week". November 28, 2018.
  20. ^ "Ex-Raiders K Janikowski retiring after 19 seasons". ESPN. April 29, 2019.
  21. ^ "Record and Fact Book". NFL. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  22. ^ "Sebastian Janikowski ties NFL record for 50-yard field goals". December 25, 2015. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  23. ^ Moczerniuk, Tomek (February 2, 2012). "NFL: Rekordzista Janikowski". (in Polish). Archived from the original on February 9, 2012.
  24. ^ "NFL Records". September 11, 2017. Archived from the original on September 11, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  25. ^ FitzGerald, Tom (November 5, 2007). "It has the distance..." SF Gate. Archived from the original on January 8, 2008.
  26. ^ Patra, Kevin (December 14, 2013). "The failed tries to break the 63-yard field-goal record". NFL. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  27. ^ Colts vs. Raiders at ESPN Archived December 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, December 26, 2010
  28. ^ "Janikowski's 6 Field Goals Lift Raiders Over Chicago Bears « CBS San Francisco". December 25, 2017. Archived from the original on December 25, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)