Linval Joseph’s extension is another stellar deal for the Vikings

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 11: Linval Joseph (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 11: Linval Joseph (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

After signing a pair of defenders to extensions this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings locked up another key member of the defense by extending nose tackle Linval Joseph.

First, the Minnesota Vikings locked up Everson Griffen. Next, they handed Xavier Rhodes a massive deal. Now, they have signed star nose tackle Linval Joseph to a four-year, $50 million contract extension.

News of the extension came out Saturday afternoon when Joseph’s agency broke the news via Twitter:

Joseph aka “Big Goon” was a second round pick by the New York Giants and came to the Vikings in free agency in 2014. With Minnesota, he’s solidified the nose tackle spot becoming a key member of the defense. His reward, a huge contract extension, and Big Goon seems very appreciative of it, telling the Pioneer Press:

"“It feels pretty good,’’ Joseph said following a night practice at Blakeslee Stadium during training camp. “Hard work pays off. … That’s the goal, get a Super Bowl and retire a Viking.’’"

Undoubtedly, Joseph’s new deal likely makes him a Viking for the rest of his career. Having two years left on the five-year deal he signed with Minnesota in 2014, the 6-foot-4, 328 pound bruiser is locked in for six seasons. Here’s the breakdown from Spotrac:

2017Contract details by year28$6,150,000$600,000$100,000$6,850,000$6,250,000($6,250,000)
2018Contract details by year29$5,150,000$600,000$1,000,000$100,000$6,850,000$6,250,000($12,500,000)
2019Contract details by year30($12,500,000)
2020Contract details by year31($12,500,000)
2021Contract details by year32($12,500,000)
2022Contract details by year33($12,500,000)
2023Free Agent Year34UFA

Looking further into this extension, the Vikings get a steal of a deal considering Joseph is arguably the top nose tackle in the NFL. Among defensive tackles, his annual $12.5 million salary starting in 2019 ranks eighth. Adding in the two years left on his current deal, the $10.6 million annual average looks even better equating to the thirteenth highest percentage of cap among tackles, according to Arif Hasan.

Basically, he could have demanded much more and his stats back that up. Last season, he ranked second among defensive lineman with 77 total tackles, sixth in forced fumbles with three, and thirteenth among defensive tackles with four sacks. In his three seasons with the Vikings, he’s went from an average player to a very good-to-elite nose tackle as shown by Pro Football Focus:

Something the stats won’t show is his ability to draw double teams on a regular basis. On a defensive line that includes Danielle Hunter, Brian Robison and Griffen, that opens up opportunities for those guys to make plays. If the Vikings can find stability at the other defensive tackle spot, Joseph’s game and value should only get better.

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In his Vikings career, Joseph has 181 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. In 2016, he made his first Pro Bowl, a long time coming for the big man.

Moving forward, the Vikings are likely done giving out big money contract extensions. Yet, the next extension is likely going to linebacker Anthony Barr. Even so, they should wait and see how he performs this season after struggling for much of last season.

Nevertheless, Vikings management has done a masterful job locking up three key members of the defense this offseason. By doing so, there’s no doubt that their defense is a force to be reckoned with in years to come.

Next: Bold predictions for the Vikings offense!

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