Should he stay or go: Linval Joseph

One of the Giants 24 free agents this offseason, defensive tackle Linval Joseph has been a starter on the Giants' defensive line the past three seasons. Joseph is expected to be a prized free agent for NFL teams looking for defensive tackles this spring. So the question remains whether the Giants re-sign Joseph or with they let him go during free agency?

The NFL offseason has officially begun after the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday night against the Denver Broncos, and all 32 NFL teams are preparing for the 2014 offseason. The New York Giants have already started by making changes to their coaching staff in hiring new coaches like offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.

Still the Giants have yet to start on the biggest agenda this offseason, which is their roster for the 2014 season. Besides the NFL Draft, the Giants will have a lot of moves to make in free agency with 24 players from their 2013 season available on the open market.

One of these players is defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Joseph has spent his whole four year career with the G-Men, getting picked in the second round of the 2010 draft out of East Carolina University. In his four years with the Giants, Joseph has been a huge part of the Giants defense, being a starter for the last three seasons at the defensive tackle position and was a big part in Giants defensive line success during Big Blue's run to it's fourth Super Bowl championship in 2011.

After the 2011 Super Bowl run, Joseph produced to great back to seasons, all career years for and has evolved into one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. Because of that Joseph will have a lot of suitors trying to sign him in free agency and could be in for a big pay day.

The question though for the Giants, is if Joseph is worth resigning for a lot money?

Joseph is a solid defensive tackle and his play the past few years has made him into one of the best players at the position. He does a great job at playing the run and defending double teams in the trenches. Joseph also has shown to be a good interior pass rusher for the Giants the past few seasons as well.

The thing is though, the money that it will take for the Giants re-sign Joseph might be too much. Joseph is a good player, but he has a great supporting cast of defensive lineman around him. Having guys like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul playing beside him has allowed Joseph to not get that much attention given towards by opposing teams during the set up of their blocking schemes. Because of that Joseph has gotten more opportunities to makes plays and go up against more man scheme blocking, especially on passing downs.

If the Giants let Joseph walk in free agency, they might not have a hard time replacing him. They still have Cullen Jenkins as one of their defensive tackles and have other defensive tackles on their roster like second year player Johnathan Hankins, who played well at the end of 2013 season as a rookie. The Giants could also use the money that they would have to give to Joseph to help sign other free agents to meet their team needs or to help re-sign a player like Justin Tuck. The draft is another possibility where the Giants can draft defensive lineman to fill Joseph's spot as well.

At the end of the day, Joseph is player that every team in the NFL would like to have and the Giants would love to keep him on their for a long time. He fits what the Giants like to have for a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme defense and has shown that he is a productive player. The Giants would love to have Joseph on their team for 2014 and beyond, but at the end of the day money is the biggest thing. Joseph is going to look for top money and the Giants might be wise to hold off on that and let Joseph walk.

If the Giants really want to keep Joseph, they could franchise tag him and have him for 2014 at least, but that's the most can the Giants doing keep him. The other big issue with giving Joseph a huge contract, is if his production declines and he isn't the same player as he was. The Giants don't want to have another case like offensive tackle Will Beatty, who had a terrible 2013 season and after they gave him a big contract during the offseason when he was a free agent in 2013.

Will Joseph stay or will he go, will be a huge thing to watch for the Giants during this offseason and it will be interesting to see how many of 24 free agents from 2013 team the Giants will keep for the 2014 season.


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