Photo credit: Minneapolis Star Tribune
After agreeing to extensions with defensive end Everson Griffen and cornerback Xavier Rhodes last week, the Vikings agreed to an extension with another big part of their defense.
The #Vikings agreed to terms with star DT Linval Joseph to a 4-year, $50M extension, source said. He gets $31.5M guaranteed. 💰💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 5, 2017
Joseph was drafted by the New York Giants in 2010 (46th overall) out of East Carolina. He spent his first four seasons there before signing a five-year/$31.5 million deal with the Vikings in 2014.
He made it to the Pro Bowl for the first time last season. He had a career high 77 tackles and tied for a career high with four sacks.
He hopes to improve in the pass rush department.
“I want to be able to rush the passer better,” Joseph said. “You have to stop the run before you rush the pass, but right now, I’m trying to trigger, trying to find keys, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year.” (espn.com)
After ranking 31st overall in total defense in 2013 and allowing the most points in the league, the Vikings since then have been ranked 14th, 13th and 3rd in total defense and also 11th, 5th and 6th in points allowed. Joseph’s presence has certainly played a huge role in the unit’s turnaround. Mike Zimmer being hired after the 2013 season has helped too, along with the play of Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr.
Last season the Vikings extended Smith and could very well do the same this year with Kendricks and Barr. Down the road Danielle Hunter will be a priority as well.
General manager Rick Spielman and the entire Vikings front office have done a great job locking up their core players. Rob Brzezinski has also done a great job managing the salary cap. He joined the organization in 1999 as the Director of Football Administration and was promoted to Vice President of Football Administration in 2001. In 2014 he became the Executive Vice President of Football Operations. The Vikings have consistently been in great salary cap shape since his arrival.
Joseph has been a great player for the Vikings in his three seasons with the team. Great move. This defense is set up to be good for years to come with him, Griffen, Rhodes and Smith here for the long haul and perhaps more soon.