Raiders Work out Former Pro Bowl Safety: Report

raiders jon gruden

Getty Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

The Oakland Raiders keep searching for a safety since Johnathan Abram was injured in Week 1, but haven’t had any luck so far. They’ve tried out a number of players to add depth to the position. That didn’t stop on Monday as the team tried out two safeties. It was originally reported that D.J. Swearinger was trying out with another player, but the name was unknown. That was until NFL Insider Adam Caplan later reported that Thomas DeCoud was the other player.

Swearinger has a lot more recent experience, but DeCoud is slightly interesting. The former Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers defensive back has been out of the league since 2014. However, he was in a pro bowl in 2012 but didn’t continue to play to that level after the season. He didn’t get many chances to return to form and has been out of football for five years.

He’s 34 now, so he has very limited upside. He’s from Oakland and he’d be far from the first hometown player the Raiders have brought in. If the team decides to bring either of the safeties they worked out in, it’s likely to be Swearinger. Though, it would be a great story if DeCloud came home and made a couple big plays for his hometown team.

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Karl Joseph Was Savior in Week 9

The Oakland Raiders have been abysmal at drafting defensive backs for almost a decade. Fabian Washington and D.J. Hayden were busts, Gareon Conley disappointed and Obi Melifonwu only lasted one season in Oakland. Karl Joseph is also among the defensive backs the team drafted that have disappointed. He may have been the Raiders’ best defender in 2018, but hasn’t lived up to his status as a first-round pick. This fact led to the team not picking up his fifth-year option for 2020. He’s set to hit free agency after the season and based on how the defensive backfield is playing, he’s not going to have a great chance to get re-signed. That being said, he definitely helped his chances with an epic display of effort on the Lions’ last play of the game.

He completely put his body on the line to make the stop and thanks to him, the Raiders didn’t have to go into overtime, which could’ve easily changed the outcome of the game.

“[Logan Thomas] had some inches on me,” said Joseph about the play, via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “But when the ball was in the air, I said I am going to get higher than him and he is not going to catch it.”

He made the play and now the Raiders are back at .500 and are in an excellent position to go on a run. While his big play was the standout, it was actually an excellent game for Joseph, according to Pro Football Focus.

The defense gave up a bunch of yards to Matthew Stafford and three touchdown passes. It wasn’t because of Joseph, who had one of his best games of the season. If he puts together more games like that, he’s on his way to a second contract with the silver and black.

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