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Should Raiders trade Karl Joseph? One national NFL analyst thinks so and suggests a suitor

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Each week it seems another Reggie McKenzie draft pick is sent packing or is benched in favor of the new players Jon Gruden has brought in over the past few months since taking the head coaching job in Oakland. One of those who has been buried on the depth chart is former top pick Karl Joseph.

The once highly touted safety out of West Virginia has never been able to fully establish himself since the Raiders made him their pick at 14 overall in the 2016 draft. Even with the serious issues the team has had at safety this season, Joseph barely saw the field over the first three weeks. Then he suffered a hamstring injury and has missed the past two games. He is back practicing this week and is questionable vs the Seahawks on Sunday.

What exactly Gruden’s plan is for Joseph is unclear. He didn’t draft him so he feels no attachment to him. Being on defense doesn’t help either, considering Gruden is an offensive guy.

It would make sense to get Joseph on the field and see if he can be the safety this team needs over the final 2-3 years of his rookie contract. But if that’s not in that cards for him, might they look to trade him?

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks so. He listed Joseph as potential trade bait ahead of the deadline with the Falcons being the team whereby he could be shipped.

The details: Oakland Raiders trade Joseph to Atlanta Falcons for 2019 sixth-round pick.

Another former first-round pick who has fallen out of favor under a new regime, Joseph was counting his defensive snaps in the single digits before going down with a hamstring injury. Jon Gruden most recently blamed Joseph and departed safety Obi Melifonwu for the Raiders’ passing on Chargers first-round pick Derwin James, which should tell you how highly he thinks of the West Virginia standout.

Joseph looked like a game-changing playmaker before struggling to find his way in Oakland, and at 25, he still should have time to develop. Any team acquiring him would get to see how he performs over the next few months before deciding whether they want to pick up his fifth-year option. The Falcons have a desperate need at safety after losing Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen to season-ending injuries, and while Joseph is not going to be the plug-and-play solution Earl Thomas would have been, his athleticism would make the former 14th overall pick a high-upside solution in the second half of the season for a flailing Falcons defense.

A sixth round pick doesn’t seem like nearly enough compensation for a player who has untapped potential like Joseph and at least a couple years left on his rookie contract. I would say at least a fifth round pick, even if it’s conditional.

But more so, maybe giving him a shot to see if he can be an upgrade over the underachieving group they have now would be a good idea too?

What do you think?


Should the Raiders try to deal Karl Joseph before the trade deadline?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Yes, get something while they still can
    (566 votes)
  • 74%
    No, keep him and see if he can develop
    (1638 votes)
2204 votes total Vote Now