Apparently, the Seattle Seahawks liked what they saw from Sebastian Janikowski.
On Friday, the Seahawks signed the veteran kicker, according to the team’s official Twitter account. Janikowski had visited the team on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Janikowski, who did not play last year because of back injury he suffered in training camp, is now slated to compete for the job with Jason Myers. Myers signed with the team in January.
The Seahawks’ need for a new kicker came after they let Blair Walsh’s contract expire. Walsh played one year for Seattle but failed to live up to the consistency the Seahawks had enjoyed for years when Steven Hauschka held the job.
Walsh was 33rd in field-goal accuracy (73 percent) last season in the 32-team NFL.
Who was 32nd? Myers, who was cut by Jacksonville after he missed four of his first 15 field goal attempts in 2017.
That's why Janikowski has been signed. Janikowski is the Oakland Raiders all-time leading scorer with 1,799 points and has played in a franchise record 268 games.
He's earned $51 million kicking since for the Raiders, who drafted him in the first round in 2000. The only team Janikowski has known in the NFL told him in February it would not be re-signing him this year, after his Oakland contract that paid him $3 million guaranteed last year expired.
Why, you may ask, wouldn't the Seahawks draft a kicker this month to complete for the job?
Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have not drafted a kicker in any of the eight drafts they've run leading the Seahawks. The last one Seattle drafted came in 2008: Brandon Coutu, in the seventh round. He never kicked in a regular-season game for the Seahawks, and the GM who picked him, Tim Ruskell, was fired the next year.
Plus, the Seahawks right now own only eight picks in the seven-round draft. Barring an expected draft trade or two in the next couple weeks, eight picks would tie 2015 for the fewest of the Carroll-Schneider regime.
It's not all that common to draft kickers, league wide. It's downright rare to be what Janikowski is.
Oakland made him the fourth kicker drafted in the first round. Owner Al Davis selected him 17th overall in 2000.