Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who seemingly set as many marks off the field as he did on it in a career that spanned nearly two decades, is retiring, ESPN reported Sunday.
“It was a good run. I still think of the Super Bowl — it still hurts,” the 41-year-old reportedly told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Super Bowl to which he referred was Super Bowl XXXVII, which his Oakland Raiders lost 48-21 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January 2003. The Raiders have been to the playoffs just once since.
According to ESPN, Janikowski said his body could just no longer take the physical toll inflicted by playing in the NFL.
In his 19-year career, Janikowski made 436 field goals (tied for ninth in NFL history) and attempted 542 (10th). His 1,913 career points are also 10th all time. His 1,799 points with the Raiders are a franchise record.
After 18 seasons with Oakland, the player nicknamed ‘Seabass’ last season made 22 of 27 field-goal attempts for Seattle. He also hit 2 of 3 field goals in a wild-card game in Dallas, but suffered a leg injury on the lone miss late in the first half. His absence in the second half forced the Seahawks to go for two points following both of their touchdowns (they converted both) but left them without a field-goal kicker in a 24-22 loss.
Janikowski made some of the biggest headlines of his career before he even signed his first contract. The Raiders selected him 17th overall in the 2000 draft, making him the first kicker taken in the first round since 1978. According to ESPN, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is now the only active player remaining from the 2000 draft.
Multiple times in his career, Janikowski also signed contracts that made him the highest-paid kicker in NFL history. In 2010, he signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Raiders. He made at least $3 million in base salary four different seasons and retires with $53,285,137 in career earnings according to spotrac.com — the most by a kicker in league history.
His 58 career field goals of at least 50 yards in length is another NFL record, six better than Jason Hanson. His 63-yard field goal in 2011 tied the NFL record at the time for the longest in history. Matt Prater has since broken it, albeit a 64-yard boot in the altitude of Denver.
—Field Level Media