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Cleveland Browns Free Agent Review: S Karl Joseph

He began the year at strong safety before giving way to Ronnie Harrison.

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Next up on our 2021 review of the Browns’ unrestricted free agents is Karl Joseph.

Washington Football Team v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

How and When He Joined the Browns: After spending the first four years of his career with the Raiders (as a first round pick in 2016), the Browns signed Joseph as an unrestricted free agent in March 2020. Joseph signed a 1-year deal worth $2.5 million.

Productivity Level Last Season: Joseph finished the regular season with 64 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 interception, 4 passes defended, and 2 fumble recoveries. He also added 2 tackles on special teams. During the postseason, Joseph had 5 tackles, 1 quarterback hit, 1 interception, 1 pass defended, and 1 fumble recovery.

Joseph was the 80th-ranked safety out of 93 safeties by Pro Football Focus, finishing with a grade of 52.2. He had two games that featured stellar play, but the rest was not very good. He was replaced by Ronnie Harrison at one point of the season, but then consistent injuries to Harrison and other safeties kept allowing him to creep back into playing time.

Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: Joseph is still young at 27 years old. His run defense wasn’t bad last year, but his coverage wasn’t up to standard. However, it was also the worst season of his career according to PFF, as he graded out as an average safety for four years with the Raiders. With another season in Cleveland, perhaps he finds his groove and becomes a reliable rotational safety.

What the Browns Should Do: I think the Browns are going to try committing to Ronnie Harrison as their guy at strong safety. Joseph became a bench player when Harrison was healthy, and I think the Browns will move on from both he and Sendejo, who were both one-year rentals.

Let us know below whether or not the team should try to re-sign Karl Joseph.


Should the Browns re-sign S Karl Joseph?

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