Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock have been busy so far this offseason, first reportedly trading for All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown and then reportedly signing left tackle Trent Brown to a record-breaking contract for an offensive lineman.
While both were big offensive upgrades, the Raiders still had a defense that ranked 26th in total yards allowed, 19th in passing yards allowed and 30th in rushing yards allowed last season. The Oakland defense gave up an average of 29.2 points per game, which ranked dead last in all of football.
Knowing that upgrades need to be made ion that side of the ball, Gruden and Mayock struck on their first free agent signing, reportedly inking former Los Angeles Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner to a four-year contract, per Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Former Rams’ franchise safety Lamarcus Joyner plans to sign a four-year deal with the Oakland Raiders, per source. Raiders keep spending and keep adding.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019
Joyner was a second-round pick (41st overall) of the Rams in 2014 out of Florida State. He started out as a nickel cornerback but has played each of the last two seasons at free safety.
At just 5-feet, 8-inches tall, Joyney will join up with Karl Joseph (5-feet, 10-inches) to form one of the shortest safety duos in the league.
The Raiders still have three first-round draft picks at the disposal this year, with multiple of them expected to be used to help bolster that defense.