It is no secret that the Chargers haven’t been able to stop the run in the last few seasons. On Wednesday, they signed free agent defensive tackle Linval Joseph to a two-year deal worth $17 million.
Joseph, 31, has been a member of the Minnesota Vikings defense since 2014. While with the Vikings he was a two-time pro bowler (2016, 2017).
Joseph was a productive starter for the Vikings last season totaling 44 tackles, three sacks and six tackles for losses in 13 games.
His main duty was what the Chargers need: run-stopping. In 2017, the defense was 31st in the NFL at stopping the run, in 2018 they were better allowing only 105.5 yards a game, and last season they went back down allowing 112.8 yards a game.
Another element that Joseph brings is playoff and Super Bowl mentality. He was a part of the 2012 New York Giants that defeated the New England Patriots.
The reason why he was cut by the Vikings was for cap purposes. Minnesota’s general manager Rick Spielman said that he was a great leader on the field and in the locker room.
That is something the Chargers will need since they cut Thomas Davis Sr. and Brandon Mebane. Both of them were locker room leaders.
Joseph will help with two of the younger defensive tackles the Chargers have in Justin Jones and last season's first-round draft pick Jerry Tillery. Jones has shown flashes in the last two seasons and Tillery had a tough rookie season.
If Joseph and the other defensive tackles can get consistent pressure up the middle that will help edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram’s sack numbers go up.
The signing of Joseph brings some much-needed help and leadership to the defensive line. Especially in a division with running backs like Denver's Philip Lindsay, Raiders back Josh Jacobs, and Chiefs back Damien Williams, the Bolts will need all the help they can get.