Early last season, it didn’t look much like Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther had a lot of faith in Karl Joseph. The third year safety barely saw the field early on, with Guenther instead going with the veteran duo of Reggie Nelson and Marcus Gilchrist.
By midseason Joseph missed time with an injury and as of week six had played just 11 snaps on defense.
When the team returned from the bye week, the team was sitting at 1-5 and realizing changes were needed on defense. Joseph’s snaps went up and by week 10, he was a starter and finished the season looking like he was very much part of the Raiders’ future.
Thursday Gruden was asked about where Joseph and cornerback Gareon Conley fit into the Raiders defense.
“Karl Joseph has asserted himself as a leader on our football team, and those are two young guys that we are going to count on,” said Gruden
A short time later Gruden said it looks like the team will exercise Joseph’s fifth year option.
“I hope so … it appears that way.” His exact words https://t.co/1c4yJnnjVq— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) February 28, 2019
This move is made prior to the player’s fourth season, which means Joseph will be a Raider for at least two more years. Should he play well this year, he may seek an extension after this season, which is common practice. Both Derek Carr and Khalil Mack sought extensions prior to the final year of their rookie deals. Though Carr’s came after year three because he was a second round pick and therefore had no fifth year option in his contract.