The Raiders needed help at safety this offseason. Nevertheless, they opted not to sign one in free agency and waited instead. Their patience paid off and they brought back Karl Joseph, who they drafted 14th overall in 2016 and spent the last year with the Cleveland Browns.
Joseph recently had a sitdown with the local media and talked about his decision to return, “This was my home. I was drafted here, I was born to be a Raider”. He mentioned that he sat down with head coach Jon Gruden and talked about his potential return. He adds that he thought the decision over and discussed it with his family. In the end, he says it felt right to come back and help finish what he started.
Later in the interview, Joseph says that he discussed his role with the team and added that his focus is on doing his best to help the team win. Also, he points out Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have built a good team. The veteran thinks all the pieces are there and the team is ready to win.
Later, he talked about defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and believes he can be a good fit on his defense. He thinks he played in a similar defense in Cleveland and it won’t be much change for him, so he will be able to grasp everything pretty quickly. Moreover, he’s happy to be back and talked about the warm welcome his former teammates gave him when they found out he was back.
The Raiders have to have realistic expectations about Karl Joseph
The Raiders needed help at safety and they got it in Joseph. However, they still need to add talent to the position. After all, the 2016 first-round pick is a solid starter but far from an All-Pro. Over his five-year career, he has appeared in 63 games with 49 starts. Also, he has logged 303 total tackles, 11 total tackles for a loss, 19 passes defended one forced fumble and one interception. The Raiders could add TCU safety Trevon Moehrig with the 17th overall pick in 2021’s draft. Another option would be to wait until the second round and target someone such as Javon Holland of Oregon or Richie Grant of UCF.
On the other hand, Joseph may be in a better position to succeed than he was in his first stint with the Raiders. During the press conference, he said he felt he played out of position. Moreover, Paul Guenther is no longer the defensive coordinator and Bradley should be able to maximize the safety’s skill set. Then, there’s the fact the West Virginia product has never started a full season. Staying healthy would be a long way towards seeing more time in the lineup.
The Raiders got themselves a low-end solid addition in Joseph. They waited for the free agency market to cool down and brought back the safety. It will be interesting how they address the position in the draft, as they need to continue adding talent.
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