The Minnesota Vikings signed their first free agent by coming terms with nose tackle Linval Joseph on a five-year, $31.5 million dollar contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports first reported the signing just less than a half hour after the signing period opened Tuesday afternoon.
Joseph will fill a role the Vikings have been trying to fill since Pat Williams last played in 2010. The nose tackle is a very important piece of new head coach Mike Zimmer’s run-stuffing defensive style.
Joseph, a 6-4, 323-pound 25-year-old, was drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the New York Giants. He is a mammoth space-eater that takes on double teams and allows linebackers to run free.
In four seasons in the NFL, Joseph has compiled 175 total tackles, nine sacks, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles in 53 games (46 starts). The numbers are not a true indication of his value. His job will be to clog the line of scrimmage and allow the linebackers to freely make the plays.
The Vikings filled a huge need by signing Joseph, but the team still needs to fill holes at cornerback and linebacker.