Raiders

Forbes: Raiders valuation soars on 47 percent growth

mark-davis.jpg
USATSI

Forbes: Raiders valuation soars on 47 percent growth

Only one of the world's 51 most valuable franchises grew faster than the Oakland Raiders last year.

According to Forbes Magazine, the Raiders now rank 34th in the world with a $2.1 billion valuation after experiencing a one-year change of 47 percent -- the second highest increase among the 51 teams. 

The Raiders, who had an operating income was $46 million, were not ranked in the Top 50 last year.

Only the Rams grew at a quicker clip, increasing 100 percent on the strength of their move to Los Angeles and jumping from outside the Top 50 to No. 12.

Of the world's 51 most valuable sports franchises, 29 are NFL teams, which far and away increased at a higher rate than teams from other sports.

The World's Most Valuable Sports Teams 2017

1. Dallas Cowboys -- $4.2B
2. New York Yankees -- $3.7B
3. Manchester United -- $3.69B
4. Barcelona -- $3.64B
5. Real Madrid -- $3.58B
6. New England Patriots -- $3.4B
7. New York Knicks -- $3.3B
8. New York Giants -- $3.1B
9. San Francisco 49ers -- $3B
9. Los Angeles Lakers -- $3B
11. Washington -- $2.95B
12. Los Angeles Rams -- $2.9B
13. New York Jets -- $2.75B
14. Los Angeles Dodgers -- $2.75B
15. Bayern Munich -- $2.71B
16. Chicago Bears -- $2.7B
17. Boston Red Sox -- $237B
18. Chicago Cubs -- $2.68B
19. San Francisco Giants -- $2.65B
20. Houston Texans -- $2.6B
20. Golden State Warriors -- $2.6B
22. Philadelphia Eagles -- $2.5B
23. Chicago Bulls -- $2.5B
24. Denver Broncos -- $2.4B
25. Miami Dolphins -- $2.38B
26. Green Bay Packers -- $2.35B
27. Baltimore Ravens -- $2.3B
28. Pittsburgh Steelers -- $2.25B
29. Seattle Seahawks -- $2.23B
30. Minnesota Vikings -- $2.2B
30. Boston Celtics -- $2.2B
32. Indianapolis Colts -- $2.18B
33. Atlanta Falcons -- $2.13B
34. Oakland Raiders -- $2.1B
35. Manchester City -- $2.083B
36. Los Angeles Chargers -- $2.08B
37. Carolina Panthers -- $2.075B
38. Arizona Cardinals -- $2.03B
39. Tennessee Titans -- $2B
39. Los Angeles Clippers -- $2B
39. New York Mets -- $2B
42. Jacksonville Jaguars -- $1.95B
43. Arsenal -- $1.93B
44. Kansas City Chiefs -- $1.88B
45. Cleveland Browns -- $1.85B
46. Chelsea -- $1.845B
47. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- $1.8B
48. Brooklyn Nets -- $1.8B
49. St. Louis Cardinals -- $1.8B
50. New Orleans Saints -- $1.75B
50. LA Angels of Anaheim -- $1.75B

Raiders draft pick Josh Jacobs pleased with 'Madden 20' rookie rating

Raiders draft pick Josh Jacobs pleased with 'Madden 20' rookie rating

It's weird to picture yourself in a video game, right? People actually take a controller and play ... well, they play you.

When it comes to playing Madden NFL, each rookie is rated every year. Baker Mayfield reacted to his ratings last season and this time around, Raiders' newly-drafted running back Josh Jacobs figured out his rating for "Madden NFL 20" -- and he appeared to be pleased with it:

The Raiders quoted his tweet saying the number is "only gonna go up," in support of Jacobs.

The 21-year-old said there was only one rookie he spoke to who had a higher rating. If you're wondering if it was Kyler Murray, he already told one Twitter commenter that it wasn't the No. 1 overall pick he was referring to. Still, a 74 rating isn't bad at all, so it's easy to see why he's happy to share the number that was granted to him.

Madden ratings for a running back are determined by acceleration, agility, and speed. They also update the determinants each season -- but the EA website does say in an article this specific position is a unique one.

"[It's unique] in the sense that rookie rushers often make immediate impacts on the field, while other positions tend to have a bit of transitional period."

[RELATED: Analyst says Jacobs in best position to succeed]

And how does EA come up with the ratings? Well, it's quite simple, really.

"It's combine numbers and then some formulas we've created spits a lot of those numbers they turn there into ratings, we also have a modifier available for guys who show something different on-field compared to their numbers," Dustin Smith, assistant producer for EA Madden NFL told NBC Sports California.

The site also references the possibilities of improvements -- so the Raiders may have a point. 

"Madden 20" will be released on August 2, but you can, of course, preorder it. 

Raiders OTA primer: Five questions entering important offseason phase

Raiders OTA primer: Five questions entering important offseason phase

The Raiders are progressing right through the offseason program, which starts its third and final phase on Tuesday when organized team activities formally begin. The first phase is all about conditioning and meetings. The second allows on-field workouts, without helmets or offense vs. defense work.

They can put it all together over the next four weeks. Well, almost. Players can put helmets on at least, but there’s no live contact over the course of 10 OTA practices and a mandatory minicamp in mid-June.

Units can go against each other these days, a vital part of learning/mastering Raiders schemes. And the competition for roster spots formally starts Monday. Nothing will be decided for months, but players can make an early impression on an organization looking for improved production in most spots. The 2019 Raiders really start coming together now.

Here are some key questions to keep an eye on throughout OTAs and minicamp:

Will veteran LBs flash old form?

Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Marshall know how to run a defensive front seven. Both guys have done so for the Bengals and Broncos, respectively, for several years. Injuries (and maybe age) have pushed them out of old markets and toward the Silver and Black, where they’re looking to restart careers representing new colors.

Recent past creates question marks about whether they can find old form and be three-down mainstays for a Raiders defense needing stability inside. Burfict’s intimate knowledge of Paul Guenther’s scheme while working with him Cincinnati should help tremendously. So should Burfict’s aggressive play inside.

Marshall’s a cerebral sort and a sure tackler capable of playing any linebacker spot.

Those guys could help a great deal. Keyword: could. Don’t forget the optimism surrounding Derrick Johnson last offseason, when spring promises of upgraded play were never met.

Marshall and Burfict will start fitting into this Raiders' defense during OTAs, and we’ll see how much spring remains in veteran steps. Both guys are working on one-year contracts but hope to remain for a longer term. They’ll have to prove themselves deserving in 2019 to stick around.

How will TE shakeup shake out?

The Raiders have mixed up their tight end position group this offseason, letting Jared Cook walk in free agency before cutting Lee Smith recently.

Darren Waller’s set for a big receiving role that he’ll have to earn in OTAs and training camp. He has all the speed and athleticism needed for success, but he must be reliable in the pattern to get targets in the passing game.

Fourth-round pick Foster Moreau will compete for a role, alongside Luke Willson and Derek Carrier. The group will look different, and those guys must step up and fill an important blocking role in the run game, especially. Competition for snaps should be fierce in that group. OTAs will give some a leg up heading into training camp.

Chemistry class in session?

Quarterback Derek Carr worked extensively with new receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams at universities and even public parks trying to establish an early rapport with his new receivers. The offseason program has afforded regular opportunities to do so with them and other newbies Ryan Grant and J.J. Nelson and even fifth-round draft pick Hunter Renfrow.

Thus far, they’ve only worked against air. Adding coverage and defensive resistance will be a solid litmus test to see if the timing is in fact right. There’s no real worry even if not, considering how much time remains to get it right.

Will three first-rounders make a good OTA impression?

The Raiders used three first-round picks on guys who need pads to truly be evaluated. That’s especially true for defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 overall) and running back Josh Jacobs (No. 24), who won’t really be able to thump until training camp.

Athleticism and burst and elusiveness could be seen clearly in OTAs, where these guys could jump right into top units. Safety Johnathan Abram will be asked to cover and do a bit of everything, but he might be brought along initially behind Karl Joseph at strong safety. That doesn’t mean the hierarchy will remain, but it could ease Abram’s initial transition.

The Raiders are counting on all three first-rounders to make an immediate impact, and they’d like to hit the ground running and show positive flashes while learning the scheme.

[RELATED: AB posts cryptic tweet after Big Ben apology]

Who jumps out in cornerback rotation?

Gareon Conley seems set to start at one outside cornerback spot. Daryl Worley’s favored to start on the opposite end, with safety Lamarcus Joyner sliding into the slot when required. Veteran Nevin Lawson will have something to say about that. And the Raiders didn’t draft Trayon Mullen at No. 40 overall to sit around and play fourth fiddle.

Expect some competition from that position group during OTAs and beyond, as we find out who can excel playing the physical coverage style Guenther requires. Rashaan Melvin never figured it out, and had a rough 2018. There’s enough talent here that a slow start could hurt fighting for regular-season snaps, as we see how a premium position group fares against a loaded receiver corps that will start testing coverage ability immediately.