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New York Giants Face Tough Decision with Linval Joseph; DT Could Command $35-40MM in Free Agency

January 13th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Doug Rush

Over the next couple of months, the free agents that are currently on the New York Giants will be heavily discussed; linebacker Jon Beason and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks have been two of the primary ones already talked about, but one that may need to rank near the top is defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

The 25-year-old Joseph has been a regular starter on defense since the 2011 season and a fixture in the defensive tackle rotation since being drafted back in 2010, but with that kind of play usually comes the massive payday and with the Giants salary cap situation in a bit of uncertainty due to guys either needing to restructure, take pay cuts, be released or simply retire, the Giants won't know what they are working with until the 2013 season truly is over with and one team is hoisting the Lombardi trophy on their own field in three weeks.

A couple of years ago, former Giant Barry Cofield got very good money on the free agent market from the Washington Redskins when he signed a six-year, $36 million deal back in 2011; a deal that allowed Joseph to jump into the starting lineup and thrive in the role. Now that Joseph is the veteran on the verge of getting the big payday, the team has to figure out if he's worth forking over the kind of money Cofield got three years ago, or simply going with last year's draft pick, Johnathan Hankins, as the new starter next to Cullen Jenkins.

"All of this brings us back to Joseph. At 25 and in the prime of his year, he’ll command at least $35 to $40 million (former Giants defensive tackle Barry Coffield signed a six-year, $36-million deal with Washington in 2011) on the open market this offseason. The Giants have yet another tough decision to make. The team feels second-year pro Johnathan Hankins can fill the void and he has the look of a good one. But the Giants shouldn’t just give up on Joseph without a fight," read The Star-Ledger on Sunday.

Five years ago, the Giants signed Chris Canty to a six-year, $42 million deal, luring him away from the Dallas Cowboys to take the starting role on the defensive line and when he was on the field, Canty was a very effective player, but his health was a major reason why the Giants cut him loose after year four of that contract and went with a cheaper and more reliable option in Jenkins. The Giants could shell out the money for Jospeh as well this winter, but they also have greater needs on the team to fill, so they might not be as willing to give out $40 million in a deal for their former second round draft pick.

If Joseph were willing to go towards the $35 million range; taking slightly less to stay with the Giants and allow them to use money to add key players to the team, and maybe even use some of that money to re-sign Justin Tuck as well for another season, then it might be a good move to make. But if Joseph makes high demands and wants to test the market, then it might be time to see what Hankins can give the Giants as a full-time starter in 2014.

Photo credit: Maxim34374 / Foter.com / CC BY

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Tags: Barry Cofield, Chris Canty, Football, Johnathan Hankins, Linval Joseph, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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7 Responses to “New York Giants Face Tough Decision with Linval Joseph; DT Could Command $35-40MM in Free Agency”

  1.  Krow says:

    This isn’t a tough decision at all. We low ball him … he takes an offer somewhere else … and we cry about the cap. Then we pick up an aging vet or two ‘on the cheap’. Problem solved.

    •  JimStoll says:

      until the giants work through the poorly allocated offensive line dollars, they will have cap trouble and will need to make undesireable decisions — Snee (9M), Beatty (5M), Baas (5M)

    •  rlhjr says:

      It’s an all too familiar theme and not just here. Almost impossible for solid player to survive four years on the same roster. It seems your first team is your spring board to your “ticket” deal. I lament there is not more loyalty, but fully understand it from both sides of the table.

      Just my opinion, but the Giants need to weigh carefully just who exactly on this roster needs to stick around and who can go to undiscovered country.
      For smart GM, a player like Joseph is prime picking. A 25/26 year old player with 3 or 4 years of experience at the DT position represents a green light.

      Reese is (or so we think) of that “smart” ilk. So the question becomes how does he counter the loss of Joseph? Does he trust that Hankins, Jenkins Kuhn and Patterson (Another Law Firm) can take up the slack if Landfill departs? I think they can. But I am not their position coach. And I have not seen them play field level or film. I don’t live with them for a season of football in good times or bad. And neither does anyone else here.

      Smart would be the guy who thinks Joseph, Nicks, Beason, Myers and Tuck are already gone. Same with Deihl Baas and (please God) $nee.

      Back on topic, can Reese given the seemingly dysfunctional state of communications between coaches, coordinator and head coach accurately discern if Joseph is worth the money? Because “gut” he will cost the team a season and peoples some jobs in end. And of course is the money there?
      Not many players would leave this club if the money is close. And I suspect Joseph is of that nature.

      In the end, does Landfill make such a difference that the defense will no longer be strong vs. the run? Does he help colapse the pocket on the pass rush and allow the ends to be more effective? That’s the question(s).

      If Joseph is the man at DT you lose the other guys, get younger and cheaper at DT via FA or draft. By “other” guys I mean Patterson and based on $$ maybe Kuhn.

      In the end the same logic (IMO) must be applied across the board.
      It has to be cold and dispassionate. If anything other than logic and pure fact get in the way the results will be less than ideal. And I definitely have a gift for understatement.

      Another example is Tuck. He’s tested, strong as hell and seems to be coming back to form. Is that just a one year deal?
      And will Moore be able to hold up against the run like Tuck can?
      The answer to that is NO without too much thought. But again I don’t really know for sure. Hopefully someone on the Giant defensive staff does.

  2.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Linval played significantly better this year due to the other DT’s we had in the rotation. I think it made a HUGE difference up front in our defense. I think we really should try to resign him.

    I look at Linval like the Barry Coffield situation. When Coffield left, we were kind of empty at DT and it took a few years to regrow at the position. Coffield went on to being one of the better DT/NT in the game.

    If it’s my call, i’m giving money to Linval over Nicks. And i’m drafting Nicks replacement, and going after O-line in FA.

    •  rlhjr says:

      I think Landfill, Beason and Rolle are mainstays. A healthy JPP can be added to that list. I will trust that Joseph has the impact others here say he does.
      It’s easy to be overlooked playing DT. Solid but unspectacular is the order of the day. When you take a guy like that away, all sorts of leaks spring up.

  3.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Also, i thought Josh Brown was pretty average this past year. Don’t think he’s earned himself permanent spot on the roster by any means.

    i’d love for us to bring in a young kicker to challenge him.

  4.  GIANTT says:

    Sometimes the hard choices are made easier by cutting down on those options .
    If you pay Joseph a market rate which he is certainly going to command then you have no choice but to make those tough decisions – they are already made for you . for similar money would you bring back Nicks or Joseph ? Im not saying its either or , or anything to do with each other but I would rather the money go to Joseph now and the Giants then have no choice but to make tough decisions .
    on defense its a no brainer – pay Joseph , Beason and Rolle first then worry about anyone else who is a free agent .
    On offense ? See what Eli is willing to give back then of course fix the Oline – Im thinking one good free agent lineman and a solid minimum pay guy and then go for the draft . Of course if Nicks stays for a friendly price then by all means pay him but if someone wants to overpay the let him go and use the money elsewhere . Im assuming Snee and Diehl only stay if their money is cap friendly . Whether they have anything left in the tank is debatable and only a recuperative offseason will tell whether they have anything left next year

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