Report: Linval Joseph Signs Four-Year Extension with Vikings

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Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl defensive tackle Linval Joseph has reportedly signed a four-year contract extension.

Rick Spielman just keeps handing out the dough.

Everson Griffen and Xavier Rhodes have already agreed to lucrative long-term extensions with Minnesota in the past couple of weeks. Reports now say Linval Joseph has been added to that list.

Spielman recently told the media after Griffen signed his deal that he and Vikings salary cap guru Rob Brzezinski were working on “several” contract extensions. And he wasn’t kidding.

Joseph’s agency broke the news early Saturday afternoon, and the terms came shortly after from Insider Ian Rapoport.

Joseph has become one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the NFL since he arrived in Minnesota three years ago. His skill set has evolved brilliantly in head coach Mike Zimmer’s scheme, making Joseph one of the cornerstones of the defense.

Zimmer receives much of the credit for transforming the Vikings from a cellar-dwelling defense in 2013 to one of the NFL’s best in a short span — and deservedly so. But Joseph’s consistent dominance at nose tackle has also played a major role.

Players and coaches alike have noted over and over again how important Joseph’s role is for the Vikings defense. He shoots gaps in run defense. He requires more than one offensive linemen to block him. And he rushes the passer with moves that no man at his size should be able to perform.

With another large payout on the books, Minnesota has now handed out over $100 million in guaranteed money in the extensions to Griffen ($34 million), Rhodes ($41 million) and Joseph ($31.5 million).

Locking up superstar players for the future is obviously a no-brainer. But all these lucrative extensions beg the question; How will the Vikings be able to pay up-and-comers such as Eric Kendricks, Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter and Anthony Barr, who are all due for extensions soon? Plus, the front office will have to hand out a large chunk of cash to a quarterback at some point.

But for now, there’s no need to worry about crossing those bridges. The Vikings have locked up three absolute studs on a very talented defense that appears on the cusp of something magnificent.