The Las Vegas Raiders had one of the NFL's most deadly weapons for 17 seasons. The pride of Poland, Sebastian Janikowski, is the Silver and Black's highest-scoring player in franchise history. Amassing 1,799 points, he holds the lead comfortably over the second-place quarterback and kicker George Blanda - who is in the NFL Hall of Fame.
The question is, is Janikowski worthy of sharing those famous halls in Canton with Blanda? As of next year, Raider Nation will find out one way or another as 2024 is his first year of eligibility, but will he be a first-ballot nominee?
Raiders owner Al Davis knew what he had in 'Seabass' since Day 1.
The late Raiders owner Al Davis took a significant gamble on Janikowski in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft. Before 'Seabass,' only four other kickers had been drafted in the first round in NFL Draft history.
Sebastian could very well be the last kicker ever drafted that high. While the pick was a complete curveball to analysts and pundits - the Silver and Black's kicker dominated the 2000's.
Sebastian Janikowski was the definition of a power kicker.
In three of the former Florida State Seminoles' 17 seasons, he was the league leader for the longest field goal made. He was so much of a power kicker even former Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin wanted to test the waters to see how much power there was in his leg.
While that 78-yard attempt missed, Janikowski still holds the franchise record for the longest kick made at 63 yards.
At the time, the kick was tied for the longest made in NFL history. Since his retirement in 2019, only Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (66 yards) and Arizona Cardinals kicker (64 yards) have made longer kicks. While a storied career for the Raiders, the jury is still out whether or not the 'Polish Powederkeg' will have a bust in Canton in 2024.
Should Sebastian Janikowski be a Hall of Famer in 24'?
While Sebastian Janikowski was an incredible Raider - he was lacking in certain areas. To be more specific, his accuracy left much to be desired. For a career as long as his - he ranks 62nd all-time in field goal percentage at 80.4%. In addition, he only ranks 43rd all-time in extra point field goal percentage at 98.53%. So, while he has the numbers for power, Janikowski may not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer candidate. Is he deserving of the nomination?
Absolutely; however, with only one career Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection - Canton may be looking for a stronger resume for a first-ballot selection.