The Raiders seem to be floating along calmly in the Pacific Ocean current early on in this NFL free agent signing period.
At least, that is, by comparison to their neighbors to the west — err, south.
Giacomini will compete with Jylan Ware and David Sharpe for the starting right tackle job. Manuel has done little to nothing since being drafted 16th overall out of Florida State by the Buffalo Bills in 2013 but re-joins a group that already had starter Derek Carr and Connor Cook before Oakland added Josh Johnson as a free agent last week.
The Massachusetts native enjoyed his best season in 2013, helping the Seattle Seahawks to a Super Bowl championship, under the tutelage of current offensive line coach Tom Cable. His signing, and the deepened offensive line, provides protection for Carr, the Raiders’ franchise quarterback, as he enters his fourth NFL season coming off a down season hampered by a back injury suffered in a week 4 loss at the Denver Broncos.
He also has some familiarity with general manager Reggie McKenzie. Just like Jordy Nelson, who signed with the Raiders last week, he was scouted by McKenzie when he was director of player personnel with the Green Bay Packers in 2008.
The 2008 fifth-round selection of the Packers started all 16 games last season with the Houston Texans.
Manuel filled in admirably during Carr’s one-game absence resulting from the back injury, throwing for 265 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Alongside the Johnson signing, Oakland’s decision to re-sign Manuel is a curious one, and means that the Raiders will likely look to trade Cook. The chances that head coach Jon Gruden will break camp with four quarterbacks on the roster are all but zero.