Karl Joseph

Raiders' Joseph Could be Headed for Free Agency

Strong safety has been good when he’s played, but injuries have kept him on the sidelines

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Will Karl Joseph remain a Raider?

The former first-round pick just completed his fourth season in Oakland and now can become a free agent.

He’s had an up-and-down career with the Raiders, with multiple injuries while having to cope with constant changes in head coaches, coordinators and schemes. This past season, Joseph played just nine games because of injury, but in those games he often was very good. He was in on 48 tackles, had an interception, three passes defensed and a fumble recovery.

But, with Johnathan Abram – a first-round pick in 2019 – due to rebound from injury, Joseph could be pushed aside. Abram is perfectly suited for strong safety, Joseph’s spot.

If so, he’s certainly to be a hot commodity in free agency. The analytic website Pro Football Focus recently rated Joseph as one of the best safeties available this offseason, at No. 43 on its Top 100 list.

Wrote PFF’s Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo: "A player who has always earned consistently solid grades, Karl Joseph just hasn’t made enough splash plays in his time in the NFL to convince his own team to buy in long-term or even keep his starting spot secure. Joseph has just four interceptions in four seasons … and has forced just a single fumble, but he has hit double-digit defensive stops every season and shown the ability to be a solid force on defense.

"Joseph has talent, particularly in a coverage scheme that plays with split safeties, and he will likely be available for a bargain fee given how his Raiders tenure panned out."

Joseph is one of several potential free agents the Raiders must soon make a decision on. Among the others: linebacker Vontaze Burfict, running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, defensive linemen Benson Mayowa and Dion Jordan and cornerback Daryl Worley.

The Raiders can’t afford to keep all of them. Some of them will be allowed to leave.

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