Per Alex Marvez, the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with nose tackle Linval Joseph, formerly of the New York Giants.

Despite looking at a number of players in free agency that have had a number of systems’ experience under their belt, they were able to sign a deal with the youngest, and perhaps best, one-technique defensive tackle on the market.

Mike Garafolo (of Fox Sports, same as Alex Marvez) reports that the deal will likely be in the $6M+ range.

Linval Joseph is 25 years old, and will turn 26 years old midway through the season. He doesn’t have extraordinary statistics that you would more likely see come from an undertackle like Henry Melton or Kevin Williams, but he does plug the run extremely well. He has had 9.0 sacks in the previous three years, which is more than what fellow 1-tech and previous Vikings Pat Williams was able to do in any three-year stretch with the Vikings.

Linval Joseph is unique, in that at 328-pounds, he could have played 3-technique coming out of college. He has a good first step and is both strong and quick with a good understanding of leverage, though was weak at consistently lowering his pads coming out of East Carolina.

He is supposed to be good for a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme because of his ability to anchor, length (with astonishing 34.5″ arms) and quickness, although the Giants have almost exclusively used him in a one-gap role.

At the NFL Combine, Joseph didn’t have quick 40-time, but his 10-yard dash was extremely good for a man his size (1.75 seconds) and a mind-boggling 39 reps on the bench press reinforced his reputation for strength.

Per ProFootballFocus, he ranked 21st of all DTs in both 2013 (of 69) and 2012 (of 85) with a positive grade, and in both years, ranked in the fifth of all primarily 1-technique players. This is an exciting signing for a team whose run defense suffered in large part due to having some of the worst nose tackle in play in the NFL, courtesy of recently cut DT Letroy Guion.

UPDATE: The Vikings have given Linval Joseph a five-year, $31.5 million deal, which comes out to $6.3 million. That’s good money for a young player who should keep producing.

31 COMMENTS

    • No…nobody has enough cap room for Dugan.
      In fact even if all the teams pooled their money together….Wait, Dugan doesn’t need money. Money needs Dugan!

    • We have 11 million left, If I am doing my math right. 41 million -5 for cassell, -8 for Griffen, -6 for Joseph, -3 for Sherels/Dean, -3 for Brinkley, and -6 for the draft picks

    • No word on any of them, though Verner was supposed to have decided. Unlikely that they will sign unless for some reason Talib is super cheap (it could happen; injury and off-field concerns) because after accounting for the Griffen, Cassel, Sherels, Dean, Brinkley and Joseph contracts, the Vikings likely have about 9-11M left, and signing a CB would take all of that space.

  1. Well, every early indication is that this is awesome news. I’m not well versed in football cap management, but that seems like fair money for a talented, in his prime guy who plays a position the team needed pretty desperately if they wanted to improve the run D next year. A top CB FA would be fun and all, but for not having paid much attention to the FA class beforehand, this signing is exciting.

    I suppose it also pushes DT down their draft needs a bit too.

  2. Thanks for bringing me back to my senses Carter.

    “Money needs Dugan!”
    immortal words right here in Viking Territory

  3. The nose wasn’t in the draft. They can fill any remaining hole in the draft, so everyone chomping at the bit for a top end corner, we have needs in the secondary, on the offensive line, in the backfield and at linebacker. Money has to get spread, and as arif mentioned in previous comments, we have 6-7 million depending on trades slotted for the draft. We actually are going to have to spread the remaining FA money out a bit.

  4. Vikings should have enough money to sign CB Nolan Carroll.
    Steal LB Vincent Rey from the Bengals.
    And still be able to roll the red carpet out for Darren Sproles if/when he gets cut by Saints.

  5. Would you rather sproles or MJD? Id take Drew for his ability to take full duties in case of injury. Sproles is an H that can be a great short option in the passing game, but needs to be in a rotation. MJD reminds me more of Chester Taylor .. Maybe that’s too sentimental.

  6. Addressing the needs up front was extremely important and they have really secured a nice starting four for the next several years. They may need to let the corner market thin out a bit and try to pick off a veteran that slips through the cracks. The big signings that are happening now and will continue through the week are going to lead to some releases.

  7. He’s no Pat William, but it certainly is young and one can only hope up and coming.

    6’4′ & 323 lbs ? Fred’s guy certainly hasn’t missed any meals over the past 25 years or so. In fact here is a stat even Arif can appreciate. Linval was 5′ 1 , 138lbs at birth! For those linguists in the crowd, the name Linval mean, dang my mugi hurts!!!

  8. Looks like a great signing to me. Obviously didn’t know much about the guy but after hearing the news, did a little googlng (Yes, that is a brand new Verb) and I haven’t found a thing that says we made a bad move.
    Two young studs anchoring the middle of the D line. Been a long time since we had that!

    By the way, for what it’s worth, I made a $100 bet with a co-worker today that the Vikings will play in a Super Bowl within 3 years.
    If anyone knows any of the major players (AD, Cassel, Jennings, Patterson) please pass on to them that I can’t afford to lose this bet and I’m counting on them to get us there. . .

    SKOL!

    • you da man, fran! hope you win that bet and our vikes win that game!

      to say we plugged a hole today would be an understatement

  9. … that the Vikings will play in a Super Bowl within 3 years. Just play in it? We’ll win the SOB! Maybe…I don’t know that I’d make that bet. Especially if the wife found out.
    Well, like Cal said- You da man Fran!

    • Thanks for the congrats boys. and yes, that is the way the bet is worded; ‘play in a SB’
      Hey, I’ve been a fan since the beginning and I’ve seen them lose 4, so this is sort of a sucker bet for the other guy. eheheheheheh!

  10. This is HUGE! Pun intended.

    Lnival was my FA DT of choice do to size, play, age and value. Being from NJ, I knew who he was.

    The other 2 FA’s I would have liked to been singed were DE Johnson and CB Verner. Looks like the Bucs signed them both at reasonable deals. Should I trade my horns in for an orange feather?

    Hoping they sign a quality CB or SS and maybe a LB before the draft. Rick should be able to fill the remaining holes through the draft.

  11. […] I was off being a pallbearer in Toronto when the NFL’s free agency period started, so I didn’t get caught up on the early moves until much later in the day. As far as the Vikings were concerned, the two biggest moves were backup running back Toby Gerhart signing a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars and former Giant defensive tackle Linval Joseph signing a five-year, $31.5 million deal with the Vikings: […]

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