Veteran Safety Richards Gives Raiders Depth in Secondary

The Raiders have added depth at safety with free-agent veteran Jordan Richards.

Richards, a 5-foot-11, 210-pounder who started a career-high 12 games with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018, is a former Stanford standout who was taken by the New England Patriots in Round 2 of the 2015 draft.

Richards played three seasons with the Patriots, starting five games, appearing in 41 and playing in a Super Bowl. As a starter with Atlanta, Richards had no interceptions but had three passes defensed and was in on 39 tackles.

At Stanford, Richards was an all-Pac-12 first-team selection as a senior, when he had three interceptions and was in on 79 tackles.

With the NFL draft still to come on April 25, the Raiders were thin at safety before signing Richards. Karl Joseph is the presumed starter at strong safety, with former Ram Lamarcus Joyner expected to start at free safety. Erik Harris and Dallin Leavitt also will compete with Richards for playing time.

With the Falcons, Richards started at strong safety after Atlanta traded a seventh-round pick to get him from New England. Previously, he’d played both safety and slot cornerback with the Patriots, but mostly was on special teams. The analytic website Pro Football Focus graded his play with the Falcons as above the league average.

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