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Chiefs, Panthers Make Most Sense For Two-Time Pro Bowl Free Agent

With the regular season just a few months away, some teams could bring in free agent defensive tackle Linval Joseph for added depth.
Linval Joseph Free Agent

Defensive tackle Calais Campbell is officially a Miami Dolphin, which means the free agent market should heat up for second-tier players like Linval Joseph. A second-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the East Carolina product used to be one of the game’s more effective interior pass rushers, earning two consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 2016 and 2017. While age has slowed him down a bit, he still managed to be a reasonably effective rotational player with the Buffalo Bills. Appearing in seven games, Joseph finished the season with one sack, 12 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, and one quarterback hit.

At this point in his career, Linval Joseph is nothing more than a depth free agent signing who can help get some pressure on the quarterback in clear passing situations. Maybe there’s nothing left in his tank, but the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers could kick the tires on him and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle.

Chiefs, Panthers Could Pursue Free Agent Linval Joseph

With Aaron Donald retired, Chris Jones might just be the best defensive tackle left in the game. While New York Giants fans might argue with that claim, there is no denying that he is an elite talent at the position. Blessed with the raw physicality to overpower offensive linemen in both the run and pass game, Kansas City doesn’t need to find another starting-caliber defensive tackle. What they could use, however, is a free agent like Linval Joseph who could come off the bench and complement the two-time All-Pro.

The Chiefs have two great pass rushers in Chris Jones and George Karlaftis, but they could use a third player who can routinely take down the opposing quarterback. While Joseph is a liability in the run game, that won’t be much of an issue in Kansas City. Other teams will have to throw early and often to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Kansas City offense, so Linval Joseph should have plenty of playing time if signed as a free agent.

It Takes A Village In Carolina

The Carolina Panthers were the worst team in football last year and couldn’t fix all of their flaws in just one offseason. With that in mind, first-year head coach Dave Canales focused on improving the offense with high-cost acquisitions while fortifying the defense with various veterans. Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Wonnum will help mitigate the loss of Brian Burns, but they can’t do it all by themselves. Rather than having one great pass rusher, Carolina could sign Linval Joseph as a free agent and hope that quantity over quality works.

Just like with Kansas City, Linval Joseph won’t need to be the best defensive tackle on this depth chart. Derrick Brown is a star in his own right and would likely be a household name if he played on a better team. The former first-round pick is an immovable wall against the run and just set the single-season tackle record for an interior lineman. With the Auburn product solidifying the interior, Joseph can pin his ears back and go after the quarterback on every snap.

Main Photo: Mark Konezny – USA Today Sports


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