The old cliche that claims “defense wins championships” has real merit. The Minnesota Vikings have the next defense with the players and coach to carry them to the Super Bowl. Knowing that fact, all summer, NFL teams and fans are watching a talented yet underachieving Minnesota Vikings team lock up their best defenders. The latest is nose tackle Linval Joseph who signed a four year $50 million contract extension to extend his Vikings career.
Linval Joseph Signs Four-Year Contract Extension
The Minnesota Vikings have made some costly decisions by handing out large contract extensions to three excellent defenders. Joseph’s signing is the most important move that the team has made so far this offseason. The Vikings started their Super Bowl preparation when safety Harrison Smith was re-signed to a five year deal last summer. At the end of July this year, cornerback Xavier Rhodes took a six year deal worth $78 million and defensive end Everson Griffen was given a four year $58 million deal.
Joseph’s impact on the field is unlike anyone in the league. Looking at the entire NFL, who can dispute Joseph is the fastest nose tackle in the game? Joseph is one of the quickest tackles. But he also has an unnatural ability to run faster than anyone on the field too. His stamina and ability to control his speed at the same level for a short period is impressive. Nose tackles haven’t usually taken the “chase down from behind” role in the NFL, yet Joseph runs down escaped backs into the ground every game.
Stuffing running backs and preventing ground yards from eating up the clock is the toughest job for defensive linemen. Joseph has no glaring weaknesses, and his dominance backs that claim up. The decision on wether Joseph is better at stopping running backs or quarterbacks is unnecessary, because he plays both ways on an elite level. His possible greatest trait is versatility. Joseph is listed as a nose tackle, but he plays defensive tackle in the 4-3/4-2 formations as well. Joseph can play as a 0, 1, or 3 technique tackle because this 6’4″, 328 pound monster is fast enough with that size. There is no doubt that Joseph is a focus on every single Vikings opponent’s gameplan.
Big spending raises eyebrows, and with this Linval Joseph extension, the Vikings have committed about $132 million guaranteed to the four recent extension. However the team should be handing these contacts out. Now, the future of the Vikings defense is completely stable. Griffen, Smith, Rhodes, and Joseph all play a different position and are locked up for the next few years. Once the Vikings get linebacker Anthony Barr re-signed, their defense will have a Pro Bowl level cornerback, safety, defense tackle, edge defender, and linebacker locked up. The Vikings defense is at a Super Bowl level, and Linval Joseph is the man up front leading the surge.
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