The NY Jets are searching for additional defensive tackle depth in the form of former Pro Bowler Linval Joseph. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported on Friday that Joseph was set to visit the Jets on an official visit.
A 12-year NFL veteran, Joseph spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers after a decorated career in Minnesota that saw him named to consecutive Pro Bowls in 2016 and 2017.
Joseph was originally drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but it wasn't until he joined the Vikings that his career truly blossomed.
A highly-regarded run-stopper and nose tackle, Joseph is an odd fit for this Jets' defense, but he would certainly fill a need and provide additional run-stopping depth which is something the team could really use.
It also speaks to how things have changed at Florham Park.
What the Linval Joseph visit means for the NY Jets
It says something that a 34-year-old former Pro Bowler in the twilight of his career, likely chasing rings at this stage, is considering signing with the Jets in the middle of the season.
It's evidence that, not only are the Jets looking to compete in 2022 and hoping to make a playoff run, but that veterans see the Jets as a potential landing spot on a contending team.
At 34 years old, Joseph likely isn't looking for a payday. He's had all offseason to sign with a team — he's just looking for the right offer now. The Jets are seen as a young, contending team with a stable coaching staff and exciting potential teammates.
These aren't the Jets of old. They're not the "Same Old Jets."
As far as Joseph is concerned, he could easily step into a rotational run-stopper role, perhaps taking snaps away from Nathan Shepherd. The Jets' reserve defensive tackles are the lone weakness on an otherwise strong defensive line — Joseph would be a sizable upgrade.
The former East Carolina standout has over 170 career games under his belt and was still a reliable contributor with the Chargers over the last two seasons. He isn't the smaller, agile defensive linemen that the Jets typically covet, but his run-stuffing pedigree would provide a major boost to the Jets' run defense.
Per Jets X Factor's Michael Nania, Joseph's 27 run stops ranked 16th among all defensive tackles in 2021 while his 9.3% run-stop rate was in the 81st percentile among qualified defensive tackles.
Linval Joseph still has something left in the tank and his presence would bolster an already strong and deep defensive line. More importantly, this move would be evidence that the Jets are looking to make a playoff run.
The Jets are serious about contending and free agents view them as possible contenders. And it's been a long time since we were able to say that.