The Raiders made Sebastian Janikowski the richest placekicker in the game's history Tuesday, re-signing the franchise's all-time leading scorer to a four-year, $16-million contract with $9 million guaranteed.
Shocked? You shouldn't be. Not after the obscene amount of money Al Davis has thrown at his top players the previous two years.
He made Shane Lechler the highest-paid punter in the game last year, giving him the same deal as Janikowski, as well as making Nnamdi Asomugha the highest paid cornerback in history. A year before, Davis doled out a sick contract to defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.
The Raiders avoiding getting in a bidding war with Janikowski and not having to use the franchise tag on him is a surprise, all right. A pleasant surprise.
They locked up a guy coming off his best season as a pro - Janikowski converted 26 of 29 field-goal attempts, including 15 of 18 from beyond 40 yards and a team record 61-yarder, and his misses were from 45, 57 and 66 yards.
He deserved to at least make the Pro Bowl and he had my vote for All-Pro kicker.
So what's next for the Raiders?
They have to decide what to do with unrestricted free agent defensive end Richard Seymour, for whom they surrendered their 2011 first-round draft pick to New England in a trade.
Do the Raiders enter negotiations with him and his people for a multi-year contract?
Do they use the still-available franchise tag on him, which would pay him $12.398 million?
Or do they dust off the old transition tag and slap it on Seymour, which guarantees original teams the right of first refusal to match any offer an unrestricted free agent may receive from another team. The transition cost for a defensive end this season is a reported $10.193 million. So the Raiders could conceivably save themselves $2.205 million, but risk alienating Seymour.
Stay tuned. The deadline to apply such tags is Feb. 25.