The Las Vegas Raiders had to make some tough cuts on Tuesday and some of the most brutal were in the secondary. The team brought back safety Karl Joseph this offseason after he spent a season with the Cleveland Browns. The former first-round pick by the Raiders figured to be a lock to make the roster but ended up getting cut after other safeties impressed in training camp.
Despite getting cut, Joseph is a solid player and quickly landed on his feet. According to Ari Meirov of MySportsUpdate, the veteran safety is signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad.
Considering the team’s need for a veteran safety and Joseph’s experience, it’s hard to imagine he stays on the practice squad long. The Steelers make a lot of sense for him. He spent last year in the AFC North and the Browns are considered one of the favorites to win the division. Joseph should have some valuable intel into what they do on defense if he sticks with the team. He could also have a chance at a revenge game against the Raiders in Week 2 as the team travels to Pittsburgh.
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Isaiah Johnson Signs With Texans
Another tough cut the Raiders had to make was letting go of cornerback Isaiah Johnson. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick could’ve been a steal for Las Vegas considering his size and speed at the position. Unfortunately, injuries derailed any progress he could’ve made over the last three years. He did single-handedly save a game against the Los Angeles Chargers last season but that wasn’t enough for him to keep a roster spot.
Similar to Joseph, he didn’t last on the market very long. Johnson has decided to sign with the Texans practice squad.
The Raiders likely would’ve wanted Johnson back on their practice squad but he decided to head home. He was born in Bryan, Texas and played college call at Houston. He’ll now get to return home for a fresh start. He has all the traits you want to see from a cornerback and considering the Texans are a mess right now, he may end up getting plenty of chances to play.
Nate Hobbs makes PFF’s All-Rookie team
A big reason the Raiders were able to get rid of Johnson was the emergence of Nate Hobbs. The rookie cornerback has been very impressive for the team and lit up the preseason. He was so good in the preseason that Pro Football Focus names him to their All-Rookie team:
It’s no secret that Las Vegas has had issues at cornerback in recent years. Hobbs is obviously a long shot to fix that as a fifth-rounder, but he was the highest-graded rookie corner this preseason. Hobbs played 57 snaps — 30 in the slot and 27 out wide — and earned a 90.7 overall grade. Both his pass breakup and his interception against the Los Angeles Rams came in an impressive fashion. Expect him to see serious playing time this year.
The jury is still out on Hobbs but the early signs have the Raiders very excited.
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