Sounds Like NT Linval Joseph Could Be Next for An Extension From the Vikings

With defensive end Everson Griffen and cornerback Xavier Rhodes having recently signed lucrative contract extensions, the next Vikings player to get one could be nose tackle Linval Joseph, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports.

Minnesota has stars all over the place on defense, but safety Harrison Smith said Wednesday it all begins with Joseph.

“I’ve said ever since he’s been here, that’s where I would start a defense,’’ Smith said at training camp at Minnesota State Mankato. “You have to take two guys to block him on every play.’’

The Vikings had five defenders in the Pro Bowl last season in Joseph, Griffen, Rhodes, Smith and linebacker Anthony Barr, and have been looking to get all of them locked up to long-term deals. Smith signed a big contract extension last year and Barr is also a candidate to get one, although indications are the Vikings are most likely to wait on him until next year.

Negotiations are ongoing with Joseph, who has two years left on his contract. Joseph, who signed a five-year, $31.25 million deal with the Vikings as a free agent in 2014, is on the books for base salaries of $6.15 million in 2017 and $5.15 million in 2018.

“Whatever happens, happens,’’ Joseph said. “If it’s time, it’s time (to get an extension). If not, I’m going to keep grinding.’’

Joseph’s camp is looking for an extension the vicinity of the four-year, $57.9 million deal Griffen got, although that might be tough for a guy who doesn’t put up gaudy sack totals. There are six defensive tackles in the NFL making an average of $14 million or more per season.

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