On Friday, long-time Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph was released by the team due to cap-space purposes. The Vikings will save $10M against their cap for 2020, allowing them to make the moves in free agency that they wish, or to re-sign some of their own players.
The #Vikings have terminated the contracts of DT Linval Joseph and CB Xavier Rhodes.https://t.co/VIg4PYgTK7— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 13, 2020
At the moment, the Jaguars are set to enter free agency with around $13M in cap space after franchise tagging defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, which will cost the team an estimated $19M, which is subject to change when the league issues the official 2020 cap ceiling.
With issues along their defensive line, and by releasing veteran defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, the Jaguars have a need at nose tackle. While there will be an opportunity for the team to re-sign Dareus at a later date, if he is deemed outside of their price range, Joseph would make for an intriguing consolation prize.
Similar to former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison, Joseph would likely be had at a relatively team-friendly deal considering the drop off in production which occurred during the 2019 season, likely in part due to injuries (knee).
In 2019, Joseph, 6-foot-4, 329 pounds, tallied 44 tackles (26 solos), six tackles for loss, and three sacks. Joseph also earned a grade of 71.2 from Pro Football Focus, marking the eighth straight season he’s received a grade above 70.
Joseph is known for his powerful, and relentless push on the interior of the defensive line, able to single-handedly disrupt the pocket or the opposing team’s rushing attack.
After battling a knee injury, it was encouraging to see Linval Joseph put together one of his best performances. He was commanding double teams, shedding blocks and getting interior push. Joseph also had several pass rushing reps where he helped collapse the pocket. #Vikings pic.twitter.com/offvad7BEy— Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL) December 10, 2019
If Joseph is healthy, he could make for an intriguing one-year addition to the Jaguars’ defensive line as they get ready to re-tool their roster. After surrendering record numbers on run defense last season, the team cannot afford to sit idly by while run-stuffers are quickly taken from the market.
Although the team may go in another direction, entertaining Joseph would seem to be a fine move to make in the interim.
In Minnesota, the 11-year veteran was a proven leader in the locker room, on and off the field. Leadership within the Jaguars locker room is needed even with veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell still in the fold. Over the past few seasons, the Jaguars have seen many defensive leaders leave the team. Recently, the Jaguars traded veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye (pending the new league year), for a fourth round selection to the Denver Broncos.
Overall, if the Jaguars wish to pursue a defensive lineman, it doesn’t appear there will be a lack of talent on the open market. Whether the team goes the more expensive route, or attempt to take a chance on a veteran who simply needs another opportunity to prove themselves or a change in scenery — the Jaguars will have options.