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Linval Joseph headed to Minnesota


Defensive tackle Kevin Williams left the door open for a return to the Vikings while discussing his outlook for free agency, but the team may have slammed it shut on Tuesday afternoon.

Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports that the Vikings have signed former Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph. He should plug in next to Sharrif Floyd to form a young and potentially very good combo on the interior of Minnesota’s defensive line.

Joseph has started 46-of-48 games for the Giants in the last three seasons and won’t turn 26 until October, giving the Vikings a player with a lot of starting experience in what should be the prime years of his career. His loss is a big one for a Giants defense short on younger talent, but the amount of holes that need filling on the Giants roster likely precluded an offer that would have kept Joseph in town.

Joseph has nine sacks over the last three years, a sign of his ability to provide pass rush from the middle of the line while also doing a strong job against the run. His presence should help the Vikings allow fewer than a league-worst 30 points per game next season.

UPDATE 5:58 p.m. ET: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports it is a five-year, $31 million deal.