NAPA -- Sebastian Janikowski signed a four-year contract extension Friday that could mean he will end up playing in more games than any player in the history of the Raiders.
``To play with one team is awesome,'' Janikowski said. ``I love being here and I want to finish here.''
Timing was everything for Janikowski, who watched in the offseason as his friend and fellow member of the draft class of 2000 Shane Lechler departed as a free agent without ever getting a serious offer from the Raiders.
When Lechler's contract expired, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie had virtually no maneuverability under the salary cap, and the NFL's all-time leading punter was a luxury he couldn't afford.
By contrast, the Raiders next season could have as much as $50 million available, and Janikowski was able to cash in with an extension.
``It's important. It's job security,'' Janikowski said. ``It's not in the back of your head about what they're going to do because of what happened last year with Shane. I'm glad it's done. I don't have to worry about it. I can just worry about kicking and winning some games.''
Coming off the best season of his career, Janikowski was 31 of 34 on field goal attempts in making his first Pro Bowl and did not miss an attempt from 49 yards or less.
Janikowski has played in 204 games with the Raiders, and only six players have more. Barring injury and with continued success, Janikowski would play in his 241st game in the fifth game of the 2014 season _ eclipsing the franchise record of 240 set by wide receiver Tim Brown (1998-2003).
The signing signals what could be the beginning of McKenzie locking up players he considers crucial to the future of the franchise.
Among the players whose contracts are set to expire following the season include left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive end Lamarr Houston and running back Darren McFadden. Veldheer and Houston are 26 and McFadden is 25.
Janikowski is the all-time scoring leader in franchise history with 1,389 points. With 42 field goals of 50 or more yards, Janikowski could surpass Jason Hanson, the retired former kicker of the Detroit Lions who has the NFL record of 52.
Although the Raiders haven't had 10 consecutive non-winning seasons since winning an AFC championship in 2002, Janikowski feels about 2013.
``Where else would I go? I love being here and I see the changes,'' Janikowski said. ``I think we're moving in the right direction. We've got the right coaches and players. People are going to be surprised this year, I think, at what we can do.''