Jon Gruden: Karl Joseph brings playmaking, leadership to Raiders secondary

In attempting to rebuild their poor defense from 2020, the Raiders turned to a familiar face at safety as a free agent in 2021.

Karl Joseph was a Raiders first-round pick in 2016 and played 49 games with the club in his first four seasons. The Raiders declined his fifth-year option, so h signed with the Browns as a free agent last year. But after Las Vegas finished 30th in points allowed, 25th in yards allowed, and brought in Gus Bradley to be is defensive coordinator, Joseph is back.

Head coach Jon Gruden was a part of declining Joseph’s option, but used four words to describe what the safety brings to the defense now.

“Playmaking,” he told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “Leadership. Versatility. And professionalism.”

Joseph adds another highly drafted piece back to the Raiders’ secondary, which features recent first-round picks Johnathan Abram and Damon Arnette along with second-round pick Trayvon Mullen.

Joesph has recorded five interceptions, 19 passes defensed, 3.0 sacks, and 11 tackles for loss since entering the league.