Sebastian Janikowski, a Polish-born NFL kicker, announced his retirement on April 28, 2019, after 19 years in the NFL. He retired with $53,28 million in career earnings over 19 seasons and made at least $3 million in base salary during eight different seasons.
He is the highest-earning placekicker in NFL history.
Janikowski’s retirement in April came after his final one-year NFL contract with the Seattle Seahawks in April brought him $2.015 million. The contract included a $600,000 signing bonus, with $600,000 guaranteed at signing.
He became Seahawks’ starting kicker after the team released Jason Myers in the preseason.
In his final NFL season, Janikowski connected on 22 of 27 field goal attempts while missing three out of 51 point-after-attempts for the Seahawks.
His best performance last season came in Week 12 where he made all three extra points and three field goals as well as a 31-yard game winner when Seattle won 30-27 against the Carolina Panthers.
For that performance, he was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
His final game came in the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs, where he suffered a hamstring injury after he missed a 57-yard field goal kick at the end of the first half against the Dallas Cowboys.
Rookie punter Michael Dickson then took over the kicker position.
ESPN reported Janikowski said he was retiring because his body could no longer take the physical stress of playing in the NFL.
At several points in his 19-year career in the NFL, Janikowski signed contracts that made him the highest-paid kicker in NFL history since the Oakland Raiders made him only the third kicker ever selected in the first round of an NFL Draft.
In February 2010, he signed a four-year contract with the Oakland Raiders worth $16 million, including $9 million guaranteed.
In August 2013, he signed a four-year contract extension with the Raiders for $19 million, including $8 million guaranteed.
Before the 2017 season, his base salary was reduced from $4.05 million to $3 million which was fully guaranteed.
But in September 2017, he was placed on injured reserve after a back injury and Giorgio Tavecchio from the practice squad temporarily replaced him as the kicker.
The Raiders confirmed in February 2018 that they wouldn’t resign Jankowski and he moved on to the Seahawks for his final season.