A Big Need Filled With A Big Man: Vikings Agree To Terms With Linval Joseph

Posted Mar 12, 2014

Joseph Photo Gallery >>

The Vikings have a proud history of stout defensive line play. Minnesota is the home of the Purple People Eaters, after all. In the opening moments of 2014 free agency, the Vikings appear committed to fortifying their defensive line and establishing a new era of dominance under new Head Coach Mike Zimmer.


The latest move in this effort came on Wednesday, with the Vikings agreeing to a free agent contract with former NY Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

Entering the week, Joseph was’s fifth-ranked free agent defensive tackle and the 24th-ranked free agent overall. The folks at Pro Football Focus had similar respect for Joseph, listing him as their fourth-ranked defensive tackle and the 21st-ranked free agent overall.

It wasn’t that long ago when the Vikings boasted the League’s most dominant run defense, ranking number one in that category for three consecutive seasons (2006-08). The addition of Joseph, a 6-4, 323 space-eating and run-stuffing defender, will help the Vikings improve against the run. Joseph’s size is a good complement to the explosiveness and quickness of Sharrif Floyd, who was selected 23rd overall in last year’s draft.

Joseph, who is just 25 years old, was a second-round pick of the Giants in 2010 and has missed just two games the past three seasons. He fits the tradition profile of a Rick Spielman signing – a young player with an ascending career arc coming off his rookie contract and poised to become one of the NFL’s top players at his position.

And also poised to help the Vikings add to their rich history of dominant defensive line play.

Linval Joseph joins the Vikings after spending the last 4 seasons with the New York Giants. Joseph was selected in the 2nd round (46th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft out of East Carolina where he was 1st-team All-Conference USA following the 2009 season. The Gainesville, Fla. native has appeared in 53 regular season games making 46 starts in his NFL career. Joseph has started 46 of the last 47 games dating back to 2011. He started and earned a Super Bowl ring after recording 2 tackles, 1 for a loss, in a Super Bowl XLVI win over the New England Patriots. During the 2011 Super Bowl run with New York, Joseph started all 4 post-season contests and totaled 11 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Joseph produced a career-high 75 tackles (51 solo) in 2013 while adding 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Joseph produced 5 tackles in 11 of the 15 games he appeared in in 2013 including a career-high 10 tackles (7 solo) at Carolina on 9/22/13. For his career, Joseph has 207 tackles (132 solo), 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.

Year Team G Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int TDs Yds Avg Lng
2013 NYG 15 59 33 26 3 -- 0 -- -- -- 0 --
2012 NYG 16 59 33 26 4 -- 0 -- -- -- 0 --
2011 NYG 16 49 34 15 2 -- 4 -- -- -- 0 --
2010 NYG 6 8 6 2 0 -- 0 -- -- -- 0 --
TOTAL   53 175 106 69 9 0 4 0 0 0 -- 0