Linval Joseph Has a New NFL Team

'The Big Goon' Did a Very Goonish Thing
Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports.

Remember The Big Goon?

Well, he now plays for the Buffalo Bills.

Linval Joseph Has a New NFL Team

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Thursday, one day after the NFL’s trade deadline, “The Bills, who had been in the market for a DT before the trade deadline, sign DT Linval Joseph to the active roster and placed CB Kaiir Elam on Injured Reserve.”

Linval Joseph Has
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The deal is for one year — so nine more games — and worth up to $3.72 million. Joseph isn’t a practice squad addition like many free-agent moves at this time on the calendar; he’ll become an immediate part of the Bills active roster.

Here’s Joseph’s career destination resume to date:

  • New York Giants (2010–2013)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2014–2019)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (2020–2021)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2022)
  • Buffalo Bills (2023)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The veteran defender last played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 and Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 and 2021 before that. He spent six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings from 2014 to 2019. Before his Vikings career, Joseph was selected by the New York Giants in the 2nd Round of the 2010 NFL Draft and spent four years alongside Eli Manning. He even won a Super Bowl with the Giants.

A fan favorite, Joseph was absolutely adored in Minnesota. He was an anchor for the Mike Zimmer-led defenses that pestered the NFC North for about five seasons. From 2015 to 2019, right in Joseph’s breadbasket with the Vikings, Minnesota ranked second in the NFL per points allowed, only trailing the dynastic New England Patriots in the timeframe.

Former Vikings Goon Could Land with NYJ
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports.

In 2020, though, oodles of Vikings defenders jettisoned in free agency, including Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Everson Griffen, and Joseph — and Zimmer’s cherished defense never recovered. Joseph, 35, has tallied 664 total tackles, 76 QB hits, 56 tackles for loss, 25.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, and 5 fumble recoveries in 179 career games. He’s also a two-time Pro Bowler, with the Vikings in 2016 and 2017.

Joseph joins the DT section of the Bills depth chart that includes these players:

  • Jordan Phillips
  • Ed Oliver
  • Poona Ford
  • Tim Settle
  • Linval Joseph
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports.

The Bills have a 5-3 record through Week 8 and a defense that ranks 13th in the sport per EPA/Play behind the Vikings at No. 12. Buffalo has a mighty test afoot, taking on the hot Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football at Paycor Stadium.

Buffalo also employs former Vikings players Zach Davidson (TE, IR), Stefon Diggs (WR), Latavius Murray (RB), and Greg Mancz (C).

The Bills signed running back Leonard Fournette earlier this week.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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