Are the Las Vegas Raiders already set at safety in 2020?
By Brad Weiss
KarlJoseph is entering free agency in 2020, but even if the team does not bring him back, are the Las Vegas Raiders set at safety?
The Las Vegas Raiders head into their inaugural season in Sin City with tons of question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Despite an improvement along the defensive line, and some young defensive backs making a statement in 2019, this was still one of the worst units in all of football last season.
That should change in 2020, as the odds are the front office will spend a lot of assets improving all three levels of the defense. Up front, they could use some more talent at defensive tackle, and the linebacker group as a whole may see tremendous change this offseason.
In the secondary, the cornerback group will look different as well, as Trayvon Mullen will lead the way, but behind him is a question mark. Daryl Worley could be brought back in free agency, and young guys like Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson could step up, but once again that is a position group that will be a main focus in terms of improvement in the new league year.
Staying with the secondary, the Raiders could be all set at the safety position, and that is even if the team does not decide to bring back Karl Joseph, whose contract will expire in March. Joseph has been a mainstay in the Raiders secondary since the team took him in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but he has still yet to reach his full potential.
Last season, Joseph was playing his best football when an injury ended his season after nine games, and it is still a question as to whether the team will bring him back. Joseph is regarded as one of the top-100 free agents available this season, and if the Raiders decide to move on, they could be all set at replacing him.
Johnathan Abram was a first round pick of the team last year, and he looked the part of a budding superstar during the summer, and in his first NFL game against the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, he was injured during that game, ending his season, so we never got to see the full picture last season.
Alongside Abram, the Raiders have Erik Harris, an incredible story who has become a legitimate force in the Raiders secondary. Las Vegas is also planning to move 2019 free agent signing Lamarcus Joyner back to safety in 2020, so that could leave KuJo as the odd man out in the team’s first season in Sin City.
Of course, bringing Joseph back would make this unit even better, but with so many holes on that side of the ball, the money could go to the linebacker spot, or even a wide receiver for the offense. Las Vegas has cap space, and Joseph is still young, but if they do move on from him, the players they have coming back are more than capable of shouldering the load.