Chris Harris Jr: Raiders Said They Plan to Keep Lamarcus Joyner at Nickel Cornerback

The Raiders were hoping to sign one of the top cornerbacks in free agency, but after missing on Byron Jones and Chris Harris Jr., the Raiders ended up reaching a deal with Eli Apple. Not bad, but not ideal, either.

As for Harris, he was on Ian Rapoport’s Rapsheet and Friends podcast this week and explained why he decided against the Raiders offer. It turns out he didn’t like where the Raiders wanted to play him.

“I know that they already had a nickel with Lamarcus Joyner,” Harris told Rapoport. “[The Raiders] made it clear to me that they wanted to keep him in there so it was really based on fit and knowing where I’m going to play.”

What that means is the Raiders apparently intended to play Harris as an outside cornerback (where he hasn’t been his best) and keep Joyner in the slot (where he hasn’t been good at all)… which could have turned into two expensive disasters.

There have been rumors that Joyner isn’t moving back to safety in 2020 and Harris seemed to confirm those stories. It’s also safe to assume that the Raiders are still looking for a starting safety and probably another cornerback between now and the draft.

On a side note about Joyner, the Raiders really had no choice but to bring him back in 2020. Because of his signing bonus (yes, the Raiders do use them), Joyner would have cost more against the salary cap if released ($11.75M) than to keep him on the roster ($9.2M). So far, definitely not the best free agent deal the Raiders have done.

twitter: @raidersbeat


6 thoughts on “Chris Harris Jr: Raiders Said They Plan to Keep Lamarcus Joyner at Nickel Cornerback

  1. I don’t understand why the Raiders don’t move Joyner back to Safety, especially after they let Joseph walk, which I believe was a bad move and one they may regret. Joyner is still a quality player but not in the slot, if last year was any indication. Now instead of drafting Murray or Queen in the first round, to complete a stellar linebacking group, they’ll be forced to draft a CB in round one.

  2. Square peg in a round hole. Joyner is a substandard nickle corner but an above average free safety. Why not play him where he excells?

  3. Joyner was learning a new scheme and moved around due to injury. Doesn’t excuse his horrible play but he has consistently posted good grades according to profootballfocus. Not elite but starter worthy
    There is optimism for a bounce back

  4. I don’t understand why they don’t move Joyner to safety. Safety is where he excels,as any FSU fan can tell you.

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