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Raiders training camp roster breakdown: Safeties

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Rookie safety Karl Joseph is expected to be healthy for training camp. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Rookie safety Karl Joseph is expected to be healthy for training camp. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Part three in a 10-part series looking at each of the Raiders position groups before training camp begins on Friday.

The Raiders said farewell to a future Hall of Famer in the safeties position group when Charles Woodson announced his retirement late last season.

Despite that, there’s hope and potential the Raiders have upgraded their safeties this season. The team signed 2015 Pro Bowler and co-NFL leader in interceptions in Reggie Nelson and drafted West Virginia’s Karl Joseph.

Nelson gives them a ball hawk to help make up for Woodson’s absence, while Joseph is a hard-hitting playmaker. The biggest question right now for those two: their health.

Joseph has essentially been invisible since signing with the Raiders. He didn’t participate in OTAs or mini camp, apparently bothered by an injury of some sort. It turned into a bit of a running joke among the media that we are still awaiting a “proof of life” of Nelson, although Raiders officials insist he’s been around.

Joseph seemed to be coming along fairly well from what we could see during the offseason program. The Raiders have maintained since drafting him that he’ll be ready to go by training camp. Further, coach Jack Del Rio said all his players are expected to be available when camp opens.

So assuming health, it’s a good bet that Nelson and Joseph will be the Raiders’ Day 1 starters in the backfield. Let’s take a look at the rest of the group:

Nate Allen

The seven-year veteran had a rough 2015 when he injured his knee in the opener and aggravated the injury late in the season. The Raiders only won one of the five games in which he played — at Tennessee when his lone interception of the season sealed the victory. The Raiders cut Allen, only to re-sign him a couple days later at a cheaper cost. His value now is as a veteran backup rather than a key starter.

Dewey McDonald

McDonald and Allen were the first-team safeties for most of the offseason program with Nelson and Joseph out. That provides an idea of what the Raiders think of him. He played one game each with three teams last season — the Colts, Patriots and Raiders. He also played in 12 games as an undrafted rookie for Indianapolis in 2014.

TJ Carrie

Carrie filled in at safety last year following Nate Allen’s knee injury and that experience gives him versatility going forward. He didn’t see much, if any, time at safety during the offseason program. But that knowledge and experience is there now and he could slide back there if needed at some point this season.

Keith McGill

The Raiders have converted the 6-foot-3 McGill from cornerback to safety, hoping to give him a better chance to contribute. “We like his length,” Del Rio said. “We like a lot of things about him. It’s just a matter of how far we can bring him, in terms of developing him, but that’s largely up to him. We’re going to give him every opportunity, knowing he can do some things at corner but we feel like his long-term future would be best served with him at safety.” McGill has one start among his 25 career games with no interceptions and one pass defended.

Brynden Trawick

Trawick’s biggest asset is his skill on special teams, although he made one start last season for Baltimore. That’s the only start of his three-year career and the Raiders brought him in mostly for the work he can do on Brad Seely’s units.

The rest

Chris Hackett joined the Raiders practice squad late last year after going to training camp with Tampa Bay. He’s a free safety that has a little bit of a head start on others trying to make the roster. Chris Edwards is an undrafted free agent from Idaho was a linebacker there and also has defensive back experience. SaQwan Edwards can play some safety in addition to cornerback. Jimmy Hall, formerly a safety, is now being listed as a linebacker on the roster.

 

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • RaidingTexas

    Well, he probably has a drug test in the very near future. I think he’s routinely tested anyway. If he did that this weekend, he will almost certainly fail if tested early this week.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS
  • R8erEduc8er

    All it takes is for the media to keep mentioning for things to escalate.

  • Breaking_Black

    They will gradually get him up to “Flyin around” in no time.

  • BigTed707

    I got no problem with players burnin’ tree. But if he posted videos of himself doing it on social media – then he deserves to be expelled from the league. Whatta’ dummy!

  • Bleeding Black

    (IF) that is true about Aldon Smith, he is one dumb SOB !

  • ComptonRaider

    Aldon Smith
    The video is posted above. Here is a transcript of the exchange:

    Female: (Expletive deleted), I’m not (messing) with you.

    Male: I don’t give a (care). Ain’t nobody (messing) with us. We’ve got zero followers. Where is the ashtray at?( to audience) This is what you call a fire up session.

    Female: (Expletive deleted), you shouldn’t even be posting that.

    Male: (coughing) (Expletive deleted), do you see my face?

    Female: No, but what if…

    Male: They don’t have my name. This is just a fire up session.

    Female: So, if you just put it on there…it’s just doing it? It’s live? That’s hella stupid.

    Male: Shut up. You hella stupid. You trying to smoke, fam? Is this the ashtray?

    Female: Yeah. You ain’t using it no more, right?

    Male: I’m using it.

    Female: Oh, that’s a (expletive deleted) (inaudible)? Oh, a (inaudible)?

    Male: You’re stupid. You’re tripping. (Expletive deleted), they don’t know it’s me. It’s not like I put “Aldon Smith”…

  • ComptonRaider
  • BigTed707

    Seriously disappointing.
    I can only hope its a setup perpetrated by disgruntled 49ers fans.

  • easyant13

    Not even oeriscooe, a so ikar app that I geuss nolever caught on, which leads me to think it’s an old video

  • Why would anybody be surprised by the Aldon Smith clip?

    The guy has proven to be consistently unreliable.

  • r8dercain

    Are you guys old enough to remember Tony armas Duane Murphy and Ricky Henderson storming the outfield for the Oakland Athletics

  • Raideraholic

    For what it’s worth, I was really pulling for Aldon Smith. I really like hearing stories about people turning their life around and getting on the right track. I just don’t know what he was thinking. Unfortunate.

  • Raideraholic

    Not to mention I wanted to see him rush the passer with Mack and Bruce Irvin!

  • BigTed707

    Not surprised, but disappointed.
    I was rooting for the guy to pull it together.

  • RaidingTexas

    When I copy and paste this into Google Translate, it doesn’t recognize what language it is.

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    How can they prove its Smith?

  • easyant13

    We shall see, I was pulling g for him as well, and he seemed to hit his stride last year before the suspension, it was a low risk gamble regardless

  • Drug test him this morning

  • R8erEduc8er

    Depends on when the taping occurred. He did seem to keep himself clean since becoming a Raider as far as I can tell.

  • Dakota

    18 days until our first preseason game!

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    True

  • RaidingTexas

    Honestly, if he isn’t drinking, I could care less. But it shows that he’s still a dumbf–. He even says his own name. What an idiot.

  • He was suspended last year for a new violation.

    He hasn’t been clean…..EVER

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    “Aldon office please”

  • RaidingTexas

    I read that in some of the other video clips he is heard talking about current events.

  • easyant13

    Not periscope. An app similar that never caught on, which makes me think the video is old

  • ComptonRaider

    and the video is supposedly 16 days old.

  • R8erEduc8er

    That last line is hilariously stupid.

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    Wow if true…. How can anyone be that stupid…

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    Wooo!!!

  • Dakota

    The Raiders should cut Aldon Smith just for being so stupid as to record himself smoking pot….doesn’t matter when he did it, or what the NFL can prove….the fact that he, at any point, was dumb enough to do something like that means the Raiders shouldn’t waste any more time or money on the guy.

  • easyant13

    Any idea what punishment might be if he is found guilty of violating suspension

  • RaidingTexas
  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    Yep

  • R8erEduc8er

    If the taping was recent, then adios to the guy.

  • Dakota

    His career will be over.

  • Dan78

    New post an hour ago..

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    Anyone else block Doc?

  • Dan78

    You did..

  • easyant13

    Yea I saw it o another site that used a different media player maybe? Had some other logo I the corner

  • Rik/Talk/to/The/Hand

    Not yet

  • easyant13

    Na not even Josh gordon has really he’d that level yet

  • Raideraholic

    Kudos to Reggie McKenzie for not giving Aldon Smith any guaranteed money!

  • R8der4evr

    I dsagrees when he is cutting down QB’s for the stretch run

  • J Hill

    Surprised that there would be a “clip” that he apparently produced.

  • useful reply

  • yeah looking to dvr them. cant find it

  • dont want to lose u bro….see kenny stapler, purvis etc

  • Marymbarley3

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