The off-season for the Oakland Raiders is upon us. While the majority of the fanbase is focused on the future of quarterback Derek Carr, let us not forget that there are other positions that will need to be addressed. There are a plethora of contracts that need to be revisited, and players that need to be targeted in free agency. None of these situations may be as supported as what I’m going to propose, but I truly believe it’s the best option moving forward. The Raiders should not re-sign Karl Joseph.
Why the Oakland Raiders Should Move on From Karl Joseph
Let’s cut straight to the chase. The Lamarcus Joyner experiment at slot cornerback this season was a failure. Joyner struggled in the slot all season long, allowing 52 receptions and registering zero interceptions. The structuring of his contract, and his subpar play this previous season, would make it extremely difficult to trade him. Cutting him isn’t really an option either, as that route would cost the Raiders an $8 million cap hit. The only real option for Joyner, given his age and poor play against tight ends, would be to move him to free safety. Moving Joyner to free safety would also mean moving first-round rookie Johnathan Abram to strong safety, a position that’s more suited for his physical style of play.
These moves would leave no room on the starting lineup for Karl Joseph, thus eliminating the need to re-sign him. This may not be the most popular option, given the bounce-back year Joseph was having up until his season-ending injury, but it’s the option that makes the most sense financially for the Raiders. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have made it a point to oust the majority of draft picks from the previous regime as it is, so this scenario would allow them to do that all while allocating the money saved into shoring up the interior of the defensive line or the linebacker group during free agency.
Karl Joseph is a solid player, he just hit his ceiling with the Raiders. Joseph is an in-the-box safety that excels in run support, but is undersized and thus struggles against taller receivers and tight ends in coverage. If the Raiders want to maximize the value of Lamarcus Joyner and Jonathan Abram, then they’ll make the position changes I aforementioned and let Joseph walk in free agency.
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