Report: Raiders Still Not Sold On Karl Joseph As Long-Term Answer

Karl Joseph has been a fan favorite since the Raiders drafted him in the first round of the 2016 draft. But for whatever reason, the slightly undersized (that might be the reason) human hit stick hasn’t been able to find any security in the Raiders starting lineup – a trend that started under head Jack Del Rio and extended into the Jon Gruden era.

Joseph didn’t play a lot in Gruden’s first year, but was stuffed into the starting lineup late in the year (mostly out of necessity it seemed) and generally held up well – particularly as one of the better tacklers in the Raiders secondary. Nevertheless, a report on Monday indicated that Joseph still hasn’t earned the trust of the coaching staff.

“Karl Joseph was better down the stretch last season, but the staff is still not sold on him as a long-term answer,” The Athletic’s Vic Tafur wrote this week. “I don’t see the Raiders picking up his fifth-year option next month and will let him play out his contract in a prove-it year.”

Joseph started only 8 games in 2018, which was the fewest he has started in his pro career. He remains one of the better blitzing safeties in the league and put up a career high two sacks last year – good enough for second best on the defense (barf).

As of now, the Raiders officially have only three safeties under contract for the 2019 season. Joseph is one. The other two are Montrel Meander and Dallin Leavitt.

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