There’s a bit of a discrepancy brewing between a pair of NFL insiders regarding the future of Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Raiders are squeezing the 17-year veteran to cut his $4 million salary, and that he could be cut as soon as Tuesday. Schefter points to the team’s decision to work out a trio of kickers on Monday as proof of the fact that the Raiders are serious about making a change.
But Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the tryouts arose from problems with Janikowski’s back, and that he looked “awful” on Monday.
It’s possible, of course, that both are accurate; the Raiders may be concerned about Janikowski’s back and also reluctant to be on the hook for the full $4 million if he’s on the roster as of Week One, given the termination pay provision of the labor deal that allows players with four or more years of service to collect their full salary if cut after Week One.
Indeed, if the Raiders will be compelled to sign and to pay another kicker for one or more weeks, the Raiders won’t be inclined to pay Janikowski more than $235,000 per week in exchange for nothing. If, however, Janikowski is injured, a decision to cut him could spark a grievance — and a claim for the full $4 million.
Either way, look for an answer to come sooner than later.