Vikings grab Giants nose tackle Joseph

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2014 - 12:07 PM

Linval Joseph, a conservatively-listed 6-4, 328-pounder who was bench-pressing 415 pounds as a high school junior in Florida, will be paired next to Sharrif Floyd.

The Vikings filled their biggest need with an even bigger human being, landing one of the top two nose tackles less than 90 minutes into the NFL’s free-agency signing period on Tuesday afternoon.

Linval Joseph, a conservatively-listed 6-4, 328-pounder who was bench-pressing 415 pounds as a high school junior in Florida, leaves the Giants, where he was the 46th overall draft pick in 2010, for the Vikings, where he will be paired next to Sharrif Floyd, the 23rd overall pick a year ago. Floyd is 21, while Joseph, who signed for $31.5 million over five years, is 25.

Throw in 26-year-old defensive end Everson Griffen, who was re-signed to take Jared Allen’s role at right end, and an aging defensive line that started three 30-somethings a year ago now has three under 27.

“It’s pretty crazy, man,” said starting left end Brian Robison, a soon-to-be 31-year-old former fourth-round pick from 2007. “It seems like everything went by in a blink of an eye. Now, I’m sitting looking around and I’m kind of the old guy in the room. It’ll be interesting, but I plan on taking that leadership role on with all these young guys around.”

Robison said he doesn’t know much about Joseph, who, despite his youth, has started 46 of 48 games the past three years, missing only one game because of an ankle sprain a year ago. The Vikings haven’t had a true nose tackle in top form since Pat Williams’ last dominant season in 2009.

“All I know is that was one of the things we definitely needed was a nose tackle,” Robison said. “Hopefully, [Joseph] fills that void.”

With Joseph, Griffen and quarterback Matt Cassel locked up, the Vikings’ top need now is cornerback, with left guard and linebacker also a concern. Two of the top corners in free agency — Tennessee’s Alterraun Verner and Indianapolis’ Vontae Davis — were signed on Tuesday. Verner went to Tampa Bay while Davis re-signed with the Colts.

But even with a serious need at cornerback, nose tackle still was the most pressing concern considering new coach Mike Zimmer’s reliance on massive yet agile nose tackles and the fact that the only defensive tackles on the roster were Floyd, Chase Baker and Kheeston Randall, the former Bengals backup nose tackle who was signed on Jan. 22.

In the opening moments of free agency, some worried that the Vikings had been shut out of their intended target when the Falcons jumped on Miami’s Paul Soliai, giving him a five-year, $32 million deal. But it was Joseph whom the Vikings had been pursuing as the kind of massive run stopper who also has shown an ability to rush the passer with nine sacks in three years, including two in one game against the Cowboys’ Tony Romo in 2012.

Robison viewed the Joseph signing as bittersweet, realizing that it probably was the final move signifying the end of Kevin Williams’ potential Hall of Fame run with the Vikings. After all, the Vikings gave Robison $28 million over four years late last year, Griffen $42.5 million over five years on Saturday and then $31.5 more to Joseph on Tuesday.

“You wish everybody could play their whole careers together, but that’s just not the way this business works out,” Robison said. “I wish Kevin the best. He’s had a heck of a career.

“I haven’t been told anything official, but you look at the money that’s being spread around. There are a lot of other positions that need to be addressed and we can’t put the whole pot in the D-line, so you just kind of get the feeling that we’re parting ways with Kevin.”

Robison also gave no indication that Griffen’s more lucrative contract would be a problem for him. Robison, a former backup who went on to prove himself as a regular starter, got $14 million guaranteed. Griffen, who has had one career start, got $20 million guaranteed.

“Everson has done a lot of great things and is a guy who has really grown up and matured a lot over the years,” Robison said. “He’s definitely a guy who has helped us win. Just look at the end of that Pittsburgh game and what he did last year [strip sack in the red zone to preserve the win]. He’s like I was a few years ago in that he’s in that prove-it phase. Hopefully, he and I end up being the best defensive end tandem in the league.”

Earlier in the day, Griffen was asked how he thinks he’ll respond to not only the big contract but the fact he’s replacing one of the greatest defensive ends to play for the Vikings.

“I’ve got a workout at 10 o’clock [Wednesday morning],” he said. “I’m going to go right back to work. With more responsibility, that means you’ve got to work harder, you’ve got to be disciplined, and biggest thing is, you’ve got to listen.”

Griffen then invited a reporter to his Wednesday morning workout.

“It’s at Higher Power Training right here in Eden Prairie,” he said. “If you want to come join me, but you might pass out in there, but you’ll be all right. You can come and join me and you can see all of this hard work I’ve got for you.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
ULM 42 FINAL
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
LSU 78 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 45

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close