Raiders tied with sixth-best odds to win Super Bowl next season

Raiders tied with sixth-best odds to win Super Bowl next season

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s broken fibula is healing well, and should not impede his preparation for next season. The Raiders plan to add talent to their roster, especially on defense, and create a team created for a Super Bowl run.

They fell short in 2016, with an opening-round playoff exit at Houston due in large part of Carr’s injury. If the Raiders can stay healthy, a prolonged playoff run is possible.

Sports books agree.

The Silver and Black have 16-to-1 odds of winning the Super Bowl next year, tied for sixth in the NFL with the Broncos, Vikings and Seahawks. That number comes courtesy of

New England’s epic comeback and all-world quarterback Tom Brady makes them the presumptive favorite at 5-to-1, with Dallas and Green Bay next in line. Only five teams are favored over the Raiders, a team gaining respect after a 12-4 season that earned individual accolades for several players.

These early odds don’t portend much – an offseason’s acquisitions and impactful injuries can obviously turn a tide – but it shows that the Raiders are believed to be a playoff contender yet again next season.

New England Patriots -- 19/4 
Dallas Cowboys -- 9/1 
Green Bay Packers -- 10/1 
Pittsburgh Steelers -- 10/1 
Atlanta Falcons -- 14/1 
Denver Broncos -- 16/1 
Minnesota Vikings -- 16/1 
Oakland Raiders -- 16/1 
Seattle Seahawks -- 16/1 
Carolina Panthers -- 25/1 
Indianapolis Colts -- 25/1 
Kansas City Chiefs -- 25/1 
New York Giants -- 25/1 
Arizona Cardinals -- 33/1 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- 33/1 
Baltimore Ravens -- 40/1 
Detroit Lions -- 40/1 
Houston Texans -- 40/1 
Cincinnati Bengals -- 50/1 
Miami Dolphins -- 50/1 
New Orleans Saints -- 50/1 
Philadelphia Eagles -- 50/1 
Tennessee Titans -- 50/1 
Washington Redskins -- 50/1 
Buffalo Bills -- 66/1 
Jacksonville Jaguars -- 66/1 
Los Angeles Chargers -- 66/1 
Los Angeles Rams -- 75/1 
New York Jets -- 75/1 
Chicago Bears -- 100/1 
Cleveland Browns -- 150/1 
San Francisco 49ers -- 150/1

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”

Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini


Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini

The Raiders need help at right tackle, the lone vacancy along their offensive line. They signed a veteran presence on Thursday afternoon, adding 32-year old Breno Giacomini as the frontrunner to join the starting five.

He has 86 starts in 94 career games, and has been a full-time starter three of the last four years. Giacomini spent 2017 in Houston and the previous three seasons with the New York Jets.

He was a Seattle Seahawk before that, working with Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable for three of his four years there. Cable gave Giacomini his first chance to start in the second half of 2011, and held the post through 2012.

The bond between the two is clearly strong, considering what Giacomini tweeted shortly after Cable got fired in Seattle.

Coach and player will reunite, hoping to provide steadiness on the right side of the Raiders offensive line.

He’ll compete for a starting spot with Vadal Alexander, second-year pros David Sharpe and Jylan Ware and possibly a drafted player. Giacomini should be considered the favorite unless the Raiders use an early pick on an offensive lineman.

Giacomini has plenty of starts, but his Pro Football Focus numbers aren’t pretty. The analytics says he allowed nine sacks, eight quarterback hits and 64 pressures with Houston last year. He had some decent years under Cable, and a return to that form might push him into the starting lineup for good. Time will tell on that front.