Karl Joseph

North Notes: Mixon, Browns, OBJ, Vikings

Although Christian McCaffrey landed his extension, the other members of 2017’s loaded running back class remain on rookie deals. The BengalsJoe Mixon resides in this camp. The sides have begun negotiations, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic, who adds the Bengals are preparing for a Mixon holdout if no extension is agreed upon (subscription required). The Bengals are not prepared to pay Mixon on the $16MM-per-year level — the new standard for backs after McCaffrey’s deal — according to Dehner. The team would like to extend him, Dehner adds, just not in that price neighborhood. Cincinnati’s starting back is going into his age-24 season. Mixon’s contract does not contain a fifth-year option; he is set to earn $1.2MM next season.

With the exception of Ezekiel Elliott, the latest run of big-ticket running back contracts has mostly burned teams. Todd Gurley and David Johnson are elsewhere after signing lucrative Rams and Cardinals extensions, respectively, and Le’Veon Bell ($13.1MM AAV) did not fare well in his first Jets season. Despite playing behind shaky offensive lines, Mixon is coming off back-to-back 1,100-yard rushing seasons. The Bengals have he, Giovani Bernard and 2019 draft choice Trayveon Williams under contract.

Here is more from the NFL’s North divisions:

  • A rumor circulated Wednesday connecting the Browns to engaging in Odell Beckham Jr. trade discussions with the Vikings. The rumor indicated the proposed compensation discussed was a package featuring second- and fifth-round picks. Quickly debunking this, cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reports no such talks occurred (Twitter link). It would be odd to see the Vikings shed Stefon Diggs‘ contract only to add Beckham’s $18MM-AAV deal. Beckham was again mentioned in trade rumors at the end of last season, but the latest Browns regime said the plan is to keep the star wideout for the 2020 season. Beckham’s deal could become a trade asset at some point, with the Giants having eaten all the dead money associated with it.
  • One of many defenders with whom the Browns agreed to one-year contracts, Karl Joseph remains in limbo to a degree. The former Raiders safety suffered a broken foot last season and underwent surgery. However, Joseph has not taken a Browns physical yet, Cabot notes. Joseph is the only member of this Browns free agency class not to have taken his physical, Cabot adds. There are no plans for Joseph to take a physical in the near future, but GM Andrew Berry does not expect this to be an issue that nixes the parties’ $2.5MM agreement.
  • It’s been a while since the Packers have authorized a major running back extension, but they are discussing a new deal with Aaron Jones.

Browns To Add S Karl Joseph

Former first-round pick Karl Joseph will be heading east. The Browns will add the four-year Raiders safety on a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

The Raiders did not pick up Joseph’s fifth-year option in 2019, making him a 2020 free agent. After suffering a season-ending injury last year, Joseph will attempt to re-establish his value in Cleveland.

While the Raiders were open to a Joseph re-up, that was many months ago. And Las Vegas has been busy on defense this week, with one of those additions being safety Jeff Heath.

The Browns, however, have been active on the market as well. Joseph joins B.J. Goodson, Jack Conklin, Austin Hooper and Case Keenum as Cleveland-bound talents thus far in free agency. The Browns were discussing a potential tag-and-trade deal with the Vikings for Anthony Harris as well. Joseph may not interfere with those talks, but he has extensive starting experience and may be tabbed for one of Cleveland’s first-string spots. The Browns have already lost Eric Murray in free agency, and Damarious Randall is now on the market as well.

The No. 14 overall pick out of West Virginia in 2016, Joseph started 41 games as a Raider. He has never been a prolific ball hawk, intercepting four passes in four seasons, but has fared better in the box. Pro Football Focus has graded Joseph as a top-35 safety in each of the past two seasons, rating him as one of last season’s top run-defending safeties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Rams, Phillips, Suggs, Carr

The Rams have obviously been having a disappointing season, as they enter the final two weeks of the season with their playoff chances hanging by a thread the year after making a Super Bowl run. Anytime a team fails to meet expectations there’s the possibility for major changes, and it sounds like that could be the case in Los Angeles. Wade Phillips might be nearing the end of his time with the team, as Alex Marvez of Sirius XM NFL Radio tweets that he’s “hearing there’s a chance” Phillips doesn’t return for the 2020 season. Phillips, 72, has been the Rams’ defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, and was part of head coach Sean McVay’s inaugural staff.

The former Cowboys head coach has been coaching in the league since all the way back in 1976. Before joining forces with McVay he was the defensive coordinator in Denver, overseeing their vaunted ‘No Fly Zone’ secondary which won a Super Bowl in 2015. Marvez adds that Phillips is in the final year of his contract, and that if he were to depart then linebackers coach Joe Barry would be a “strong replacement candidate.” The Rams’ defense has had some notable meltdowns this season, like when they gave up 44 points to the Cowboys last week or 45 to the Ravens a month back, but they’ve also played quite well at times. The secondary has been better since trading for Jalen Ramsey, and they’ve given up 17 or fewer points in six of their last eight games. If Phillips does get the boot or chooses to leave on his own, he’d likely draw some interest from teams in search of a veteran assistant, perhaps to be paired with a young offensive-minded head coach.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Terrell Suggs initially said he’d only play for the Ravens after he was cut by the Cardinals, but when he was claimed by the Chiefs it was immediately reported that he’d be joining Kansas City. What changed? Apparently all it took was a short call with Andy Reid. “I was really uncertain about my future last week, but I talked to Coach and it was a brief conversation and I was like, ‘OK,”’ the veteran pass-rusher said earlier this week, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “I asked Coach, ‘I just learned the hard way that a player like me just [doesn’t] fit in anywhere.’ He was like, ‘Trust me, you’ll fit in here.'” Suggs spent the first 16 years of his career with Baltimore before signing in Arizona this past offseason. Now, he’ll be joining one of the Ravens’ main AFC rivals with a chance at a potential final playoff run.
  • Raiders safety Karl Joseph was placed on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury early last month, and now we have more details. Joseph had a “partial case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot,” according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link). Tafur also reports that he’ll be good to go in April when offseason programs start across the league. The Raiders declined Joseph’s fifth-year option, so the former first-round pick will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Joseph started the first nine games of this season, and has said he wants to be back with the Raiders. He was receiving average marks from Pro Football Focus before going down.
  • Speaking of the Raiders, there will be a lot of talk about Derek Carr this offseason. The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas for 2020, and it’s not quite settled as to who will be their quarterback when they play their first game there. Jon Gruden has been publicly supportive of Carr, but “there is a significant disconnect between the coach and the quarterback,” writes Michael Lombardi of The Athletic. Lombardi writes that he believes the Raiders will hold onto Carr, while also drafting a quarterback next April. He speculates that Gruden might look to trade Carr, finding a partner willing to take on Carr’s relatively affordable contract. It’s often hard to tell what Gruden is really thinking as he’s often publicly said one thing while doing another during his short time back in the league, but it’s certainly plausible that he decides to move on from Carr, one of the last holdovers from the pre-Gruden Raiders.

AFC West Notes: McCoy, Bolles, Joseph

The Chiefs listed running back LeSean McCoy as a healthy scratch for their 35-32 loss to the Titans as part of a predetermined schedule to rest him, according to James Palmer of NFL.com. Without McCoy, Damien Williams received a larger portion of snaps and had a costly fumble in the team’s upset loss.

Given the outcome Kansas City may have second thoughts about their decision, but the organization wants to have McCoy as fresh as possible for the last season and playoff push. At 6-4, the Chiefs remain atop the AFC West and will hope McCoy can make up for their loss in future contributions.

Here’s some more from around the AFC West:

  • Left tackle Garett Bolles has struggled mightily for the Broncos this season. In his weekly mailbag, Ryan O’Hallaran of The Denver Post explained that the early-season injury to right tackle Ja’Wuan James might have saved his job. James’ injury forced swing tackle Elijah Wilkinson into full-time duty and left Denver without a solid Plan B behind Bolles. If James finds his way back onto the field, Wilkinson may be able to push for snaps on the opposite side of the line.
  • Safety Karl Joseph had begun establishing himself as a difference-maker in the Raiders secondary this season before he suffered a season-ending injury. With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Raiders might have been inclined to negotiate an extension. However, given the uncertainty surrounding his health, Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News expects the team to let him hit free-agency this season and try to re-sign him at market value.

Raiders To Sign Dion Jordan, Place Karl Joseph On IR

Former top-five pick Dion Jordan will resurface in Oakland. The Raiders and the veteran defensive end agreed to terms, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Jordan will join D.J. Swearinger as late-week Raiders additions. To make room on the 53-man roster, Karl Joseph will head to IR. Joseph suffered a foot injury late in the Raiders’ Thursday win over the Chargers.

This marks yet another chance for Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Suspensions nearly chased the Oregon product out of the league, but he did play 12 games for the Seahawks last season. Multiple teams were interested in adding him this year. Jordan, who was banned 10 games for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, will join a Raiders team that recently lost Arden Key for the season.

Jordan missed the 2015 season because of a substance-abuse ban and was shelved for all of 2016 as well. The pass rusher has battled both bans and injuries, having never come close to justifying his draft position. Jordan did register a career-high four sacks for the 2017 Seahawks, however. He recorded 1.5 last year.

A 2016 first-round pick, Joseph has started nine games this season. The Raiders did not pick up his 2020 option, and the West Virginia product may be headed toward free agency in March. While the Raiders have not ruled out retaining him, Jon Gruden has not been shy about jettisoning Reggie McKenzie‘s first-round picks. The previous GM’s other first-rounders left when Gruden took over — Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, Gareon Conley — have all been traded over the past 15 months.

In order to get both Swearinger and Jordan on the roster, the Raiders also waived linebacker Quentin Poling.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Karl Joseph May Miss Rest Of Season

The last of Reggie McKenzie‘s first-round picks still with the Raiders, Karl Joseph is not signed beyond this season. And the Oakland safety starter is in danger of missing the rest of 2019.

Joseph’s injury prompted the Raiders to sign D.J. Swearinger, and Jerry McDonald of the East Bay Times notes this is a “substantial” foot problem that may cause the fourth-year starter to miss the rest of the season. Spotted on crutches shortly after his interception sealed the Raiders’ second win in five days, Joseph at the very least looks likely to miss extensive time.

Although the Raiders have not used him as a consistent starter throughout his career, the 2016 No. 14 overall pick has started every game this year and has logged 41 starts in his career. The Raiders passed on Joseph’s fifth-year option in May, making him a 2020 free agent-to-be. Joseph has graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 31 safety through nine games. His 48 tackles are second among Raiders this season.

The Raiders added Swearinger to a safety mix that includes Erik Harris, Curtis Riley, second-year UDFA Dallin Leavitt and UFA addition Lamarcus Joyner. However, Joyner has played plenty of slot corner this season and suffered an injury Thursday night himself. The ex-Rams defender endured a non-contact hamstring injury, and McDonald notes he is uncertain to face the Bengals in Week 11.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders’ Karl Joseph Suffers Foot Injury

Raiders safety Karl Joseph is awaiting MRI results to learn the full extent of his foot injury. But, based on the initial diagnosis, there is a fear that it’s of the serious variety (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

Joseph was benched to start the 2018 season and the club did not pick up his fifth-year option for 2020. Then, this offseason, they signed Lamarcus Joyner and drafted Johnathan Abram in the first round. The Raiders were set to move on from Joseph – until Abram suffered a labrum tear and landed on IR.

Now, it looks like they’ll be without Joseph for a while, if not the rest of the season. On Thursday night, Joseph’s leg buckled after he picked off Philip Rivers‘ third interception of the night. After the game, reporters spotted him with crutches.

Up until this point, Joseph started in every game for Oakland, logging 48 tackles and three passes defensed. Today, he ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 31 ranked safety in the NFL, ahead of notables such as Budda Baker, Morgan Burnett, Adrian Amos, Landon Collins, and Rodney McLeod.

At minimum, it sounds like the 5-4 Raiders will be without Joseph when they face the Bengals on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bay Area Notes: Joseph, Joyner, McGlinchey

Given Jon Gruden‘s moves involving several other Reggie McKenzie-era high draft picks, and the Raiders‘ decisions this spring, it would appear Karl Joseph is not in the team’s long-term plans. The Raiders, who benched Joseph to start last season, did not pick up his fifth-year option and proceeded to sign Lamarcus Joyner before drafting Johnathan Abram in the first round. Nevertheless, Joseph is not planning (at least publicly) for a 2020 free agency foray.

Obviously I want to be here, I’ve expressed that already with Coach Gruden and (Mike) Mayock,” Joseph said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I want to be a Raider for life, but at the end of the day, I have to take care of my business on the field. I’m not focused on the contract. That stuff will take care of itself.”

Among McKenzie’s first-round picks, only Joseph and 2017 first-rounder Gareon Conley remain Raiders. Despite starting in just eight games last season, the 2016 first-round pick graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 23 overall safety (in just 509 snaps) and worked alongside Abram in Oakland’s starting lineup at minicamp. Erik Harris is working as a backup, per Bair.

Here is the latest out of northern California:

  • As for Joyner, the Raiders are following through on their spring talk of playing him as a slot corner. The player the Rams used as a safety starter the past two years worked exclusively as a slot defender during the minicamp and OTA sessions available to the media, Bair notes. The Raiders gave Joyner a four-year, $42MM contract. If they intend to confine him to slot duty, this would make him the league’s highest-paid pure slot corner — a distinction Kenny Moore was believed to hold when he signed a Colts extension this week. Joyner worked as a corner for the Rams from 2014-16 and would join Trent Brown as recent Raiders signees asked to change positions.
  • Mike McGlinchey sustained a knee injury that required a recent procedure. The 49ers‘ right tackle starter did not participate in minicamp, instead receiving platelet-rich plasma injections on a knee he recently injured, Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. McGlinchey, who started 16 games for the 49ers last season, is expected to be ready for training camp.
  • Garrett Celek has more significant issues to surmount. In addition to remaining in concussion protocol, the veteran 49ers tight end will need back surgery, Kyle Shanahan said. The seventh-year tight end may well miss the start of training camp, per Chan. This would point to Celek’s back problem being rather minor. As for his concussion concern: Celek, who saw a head injury end his 2018 season, remains in the protocol because the next time he can take a concussion test will be training camp. But he’s certainly not out of the woods on the injury front.

Raiders Decline Karl Joseph’s 2020 Option

Although Karl Joseph‘s stay on the trade block did not produce a departure, unlike other Reggie McKenzie first-round picks last year, the Raiders will not add a year onto the safety’s rookie contract.

The Raiders opted to decline the safety’s fifth-year option, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Jon Gruden confirmed this Friday, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com.

This runs contrary to a February report indicating the Raiders were considering exercising Joseph’s option. But this points a path out of Oakland for yet another of McKenzie’s high picks. Since Gruden arrived, he has shipped out first- or second-round picks Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, Mario Edwards, Jihad Ward and Obi Melifonwu. Joseph is now in a contract year.

A 2016 first-round pick, Joseph was a part-time starter for the 2018 Raiders. He played with the first-string defense in eight games. With Lamarcus Joyner now signed and Gruden openly expressing his affinity for first-round pick Johnathan Abram‘s skill set, Joseph’s role is now even more uncertain.

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Raiders To Exercise Karl Joseph’s Option?

Despite recent speculation to the contrary, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden indicated that the Raiders will exercise the fifth-year option on safety Karl Joseph (Twitter link via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). Of course, there’s still plenty of time between now and the May deadline, so things could change. 

The Raiders were reportedly willing to trade Joseph at last year’s trade deadline for a third-round pick, though they were unable to find any takers. Moving Joseph this time around could require taking a lot less and that might not make sense for the Raiders since the 2020 fifth-year option would be guaranteed for injury only.

Joseph has not quite set the world on fire since being taken with the No. 14 overall pick in 2016, but he did show some promise last year. Joseph finished out with 48 tackles, two sacks, an interception (the third of his career) and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 23 ranked safety in the NFL.

Regardless of what happens with Joseph, the Raiders’ secondary will have a new look in 2019.

Either way, Joseph will have a new running mate in the Raiders’ defensive backfield in 2019. Veterans Reggie Nelson and Marcus Gilchrist are not expected to return, so there will be a new free safety starting opposite of Joseph’s spot at strong safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.