Linval Joseph, a 2nd round pick, has been a 3-year starter with the Giants from 2011-2013, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 21st ranked defensive tackle in each of the last 2 seasons. Only 5 other players have graded out higher than him in both seasons (Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, Jurrell Casey, Geno Atkins, Marcell Dareus). Joseph is better against the run than he is rushing the passer, but he graded out above average in both facets of the game in each of the past two seasons. He’s also one of the youngest players hitting free agency this off-season, going into only his age 26 season.
This contract (5 years, 31.5 million) has an average annual salary of 6.3 million, which puts him 9th among defensive tackles in terms of annual salary. That seems a little rich, but it’s certainly better than the 5 year, 33 million dollar deal the Falcons gave Paul Soliai this off-season. Soliai is an inferior and significantly older player and his deal has more guaranteed money as well (14 million to 12.5 million). Joseph’s deal doesn’t have any guaranteed money after the 2nd season so it could just end up being a 2 year, 13 million dollar deal if he doesn’t work out. There’s also a chance he continues to improve as a player as he goes into his age 26 season. He’s not even really in his prime yet. For a Vikings team in need of defensive tackle help next to Sharrif Floyd, this was a decent move.