Although widely considered to be one of the New York Giants' top offseason priorities, defensive tackle Linval Joseph appears destined to make it to the March 11th start of free agency where he'll be highly coveted by a number of teams. Among them, writes Mark Bullock of the Washington Post, is likely to be the Washington Redskins.
"Joseph was thought of as a potential 3-4 nose tackle coming out of college. He was drafted by the Giants, who run a 4-3 defense, but Joseph still shows signs of being an effective two-gap defender. The Giants like to use him as the nose tackle in their 4-3 front, as he provides stout run defense."
Knowing he's in line for a big-time pay day, Joseph has been anxious to test the waters. However, despite his desire to get paid, he's expressed interest in returning to the Giants on multiple occasions, saying he loves the organization and feels like New York/New Jersey is home.
"I would love to stay here," Joseph said in January. "This is where I started. I love this organization and I love it here. It’s home."
For the Giants, the problem with Joseph centers solely on his potential contract demands. And although they'll likely offer him what they feel is a "fair deal" (ala Steve Smith, Albert Haynesworth, etc.), Joseph has already hinted that he's hoping for a contract in the Geno Atkins range — five-years, $55 million.
“The only person I’ve focused on was Geno Atkins, because we had the same agent and when I saw his deal, I was like, ‘oh man, he deserves it,' " Joseph said. “That’s just something I saw. I was like, ‘Hey, my agent is pretty good.’ So I'm excited about the situation."
In all likelihood, the Giants will come in around the four-year, $22 million range, similar to the contract given to Sen'Derrick Marks by the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also have the franchise tag option, but at approximately $8.5 million for one season, it may be too rich for their blood. However, as they did with punter Steve Weatherford a few years ago, they may tag Joseph and continue negotiations until a better deal can be reached.
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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