Run-stuffing ability of Linval Joseph could help Cardinals in 2022

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Linval Joseph
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Linval Joseph /

Linval Joseph could be the rock in the middle of an Arizona Cardinals defensive unit that struggled to stop the run in 2021.

The Arizona Cardinals, like every other NFL team, will be looking to improve during the 2022 offseason. Anyone who watched the squad last fall is well aware of the fact that the Cards were deficient in one very noticeable area.

Over the last 10 matchups of the 2021 campaign, Arizona‘s defense struggled mightily against the run. Coordinator Vance Joseph‘s group was solid in that department early on, but the opposition began to run rampant over the Cardinals after the sensational J.J. Watt suffered a debilitating shoulder injury in Week 7.

In order to rectify the issue, Cards general manager Steve Keim could look to acquire a run-stuffing defender during the free-agent signing period. With that in mind, there’s a particular veteran who could fill that role quite nicely for Joseph’s unit.

Linval Joseph would be a fine addition to the Arizona Cardinals defensive line

Linval Joseph, a free agent from the Los Angeles Chargers, has made a career out of being an unmovable object in the middle of the defensive line. Last season, the 33-year-old nose tackle registered an impressive 57 tackles in 14 appearances (12 starts) for the 9-8 Chargers.

The presence of Joseph, combined with the return of a healthy Watt, could go a long way in preventing opposing ball-carriers from wreaking havoc on the Redbirds’ defense. At 6-foot-4 and 329 pounds, Joseph has been an intimidating physical specimen for all three of the franchises he has been employed by since he entered the league 12 years ago.

Joseph was a second-round draft pick of the New York Giants back in 2010, the 46th-overall selection out of East Carolina University. Following four seasons in the “Big Apple”, the U.S. Virgin Island native inked a free-agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings in March of 2014. Joseph spent the past two years in Los Angeles, logging 30 appearances (28 starts) for the Chargers.

In 171 professional matchups (162 starts), Joseph has been credited with 644 tackles, 25 sacks, and 75 quarterback hits. Those last two statistics clearly show that the magnificent run-stuffer is fully capable of pressuring opposing signal-callers as well.

A multi-season contract is likely a thing of the past for the aging Joseph. However, a one-year “prove-it” deal from the Cardinals is an agreement that could potentially work well for both sides in 2022.

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