After a rough day for some West Virginia alumni Tuesday, three have bounced back by signing with NFL practice squads today. Former Mountaineers stars Will Grier and David Sills V signed with squads earlier today, and former WVU safety Karl Joseph is the latest to sign a new deal.
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced their official 15-man practice squad for the 2021 season, with Joseph agreeing to sign a practice squad deal with the Steelers just a day after being cut by the Las Vegas Raiders as a surprising cutting day casualty. He visited with the Steelers as a free agent this summer before signing with the Raiders on April 9.
The Raiders’ first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Joseph spent the first four seasons of his career in Oakland, compiling four interceptions and 236 total tackles in 49 games (41 starts), before signing a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns last offseason.
In one season with the Browns, Joseph played in 14 games with eight starts. He scored the first points of the Browns-Steelers Wild Card Game on Jan. 10, recovering Maurkice Pouncey’s bad snap in the end zone less than 15 seconds into action.
A four-year contributor at WVU, Joseph compiled 274 (201 solo) tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, nine interceptions and defended seven passes over his 41 games. Before his senior season was cut short due to an injury, he recorded 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and five interceptions in just four games.
Now a veteran of 63 NFL games, Joseph provides excellent value for the Steelers, adding another veteran option to a secondary in need of contributors. While he’s currently on the practice squad, look for Joseph to receive every chance to jump to the active roster before too long.