Veteran Cornerback Added to Secondary

Johnathan Joseph was fourth among active players in 2019 with 31 career interceptions.
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Maybe Johnathan Joseph has not gotten better with age. Few at his position do.

That’s OK because he certainly has not gotten worse.

The veteran cornerback has intercepted at least one pass in 12 of the last 13 seasons. His 31 career picks are fourth most among all players who were active last season. Only Richard Sherman (35), Aqib Talib (35) and Tramon Williams (34) had more.

And now, Joseph is coming to the Tennessee Titans. According to multiple reports, the 36-year-old cornerback has agreed to sign a free agent deal with Tennessee. The team has yet to formally confirm the addition.

The move eliminates virtually any possibility that Logan Ryan will return to the Titans. With Joseph and Kristian Fulton, Tennessee’s second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, as well as returning veterans Malcolm Butler and Adoreé Jackson, Tennessee’s defense has a quartet of cornerbacks who can contribute in a variety of ways.

However, Joseph’s arrival does seemingly enhance the chances that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, arguably the biggest name among unsigned free agents, could end up in Nashville. Joseph and Clowney are from the same hometown (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Joseph has been a mentor to Clowney.

A first-round selection (24 overall) by Cincinnati in 2006, he spent the last nine seasons with the Houston Texans, five of them as a teammate of Clowney’s. That includes 2017, when current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was the Texans’ defensive coordinator. Joseph had two interceptions that season, one of nine in which he has registered multiple picks. His career-high was six in 2009, his fourth year with the Bengals.

When Houston made it known it did not intend to re-sign him, he issued a classy farewell to that organization and its fans in which he made it known that he intended to extend his NFL career.

Joseph is a two-time Pro Bowler (2011, 2012). He has returned seven interceptions for touchdowns, which is tied for 11 in NFL history. He also has recovered seven fumbles in his career and returned them a total of 145 yards, second among active players.

He played all 16 games in a season five times and 13 or more in all but one of his years in the league. Only 27 active players have appeared in more contests.