Source: Raiders pick up Khalil Mack's fifth-year option

Source: Raiders pick up Khalil Mack's fifth-year option

The Raiders have formally picked up Khalil Mack's fifth-year option, a source said on Thursday morning. It was a given considering Mack's performance and leadership since being selected No. 5 overall in the 2014 draft. 

Teams are afforded a fifth-year team option on first-round draft picks, and this one binds Mack to the team through 2018. As a top 10 pick, Mack is scheduled to make the average of the top 10 players at his position in that option year. That will be a pretty penny.

General manager Reggie McKenzie wants to lock Mack into a long-term contract at some point soon, but the option affords more flexibility to get a deal done. He doesn't have that luxury with 2014 second-round quarterback Derek Carr and third-round guard Gabe Jackson, who have contracts expiring after the 2017 season. McKenzie has budgeted extensions for all three guys, and will start executing deals after the NFL Draft. Carr's extension is expected to come first. 

None of them will be cheap, and Mack could become one of, if not the NFL's highest paid defender. 

Mack is the NFL reigning defensive player of year after a 2016 season where he had 73 tackles, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown. 

The news was first reported by Fox Sports' Peter Shrager.

Raiders retain Manuel, now have four QBs on roster


Raiders retain Manuel, now have four QBs on 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 Oakland Raiders signed unrestricted free agent T Breno Giacomini, the club announced Thursday.

Giacomini is entering his 11th NFL season, having spent time with the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and Houston Texans. He has appeared in 94 career games with 86 starts, including 53 starts over the last four seasons. He originally entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick (150th overall) of the Green Bay Packers in 2008.

Last season, the 6-foot-7, 320-pounder started all 16 games at right tackle for the Texans. From 2014-16, Giacomini started 37 games for the Jets, including every game in 2014 and 2015.

Giacomini saw his first significant action with the Seahawks in 2011 and was a mainstay on the team’s offensive line through 2013, helping the team win Super XLVIII as the starting right tackle.

A native of Malden, Mass., Giacomini played four seasons (2004-07) at Louisville, appearing in 27 games. He began his collegiate career as a tight end before converting to tackle before his senior year.

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