Raiders sign former Giants DT Joseph

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent defensive tackle William Joseph on Friday, adding a former first-round pick whose career has been plagued by injuries.

Joseph missed all of last season for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants with a back injury. He was a late scratch for New York's season opener and then placed on injury reserve the following week.

Joseph was the 25th overall pick out of Miami in the 2003 draft. He played in 55 games his first four seasons before the back injury, recording seven sacks and 52 solo tackles. He also forced two fumbles and had six passes defensed.

The Raiders were looking for help on the defensive line after allowing a league-worst 4.8 yards per carry and finishing second-to-last by allowing 145.9 yards per game.

Defensive tackle Warren Sapp retired after the season, leaving a void in the middle of Oakland's defense. The Raiders resigned Tommy Kelly to a seven-year contract that guarantees him more than $18 million and now have added Joseph.

Joseph is the second Giants defender signed by Oakland in free agency this offseason. The Raiders previously signed safety Gibril Wilson to a six-year, $39 million contract.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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