The Buffalo Bills made multiple additions during the week of the 2023 NFL trade deadline. Capping them off was the addition of defensive tackle Linval Joseph.
The 35-year-old has been around the block in the NFL. The Bills (5-3) will be his fifth stop in the league after signing with the club as a free agent.
As a veteran, Joseph will have a chance to feature in Buffalo’s long-standing rotation along the defensive line. How quickly he gets settled in will now be the question–But in the meantime, get to know him a bit more before he takes the field.
Here are nine things to know about the new Bills defensive lineman:
Pro Bowl Super Bowl winner
Joseph has 13 years of NFL experience having played in 179 games. He has racked up 25.5 sacks and 56 tackles for loss in his career.
Most impressively, he won a Super Bowl. The Giants selected him in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. He won Super Bowl XLVI with the team.
His second stop with the Vikings from 2016 to 2019 saw him crack the Pro Bowl twice in 2016 and 2017. Joseph then went to the Chargers (2020-2021) and Eagles (2022).
He's done this before
Joseph joins the Bills midway through the year. He’s done this before… just last season. He signed in the middle of 2022 with the Eagles.
…worth noting, they made it to the Super Bowl.
Role will be clear
Joseph’s job with the Bills is going to be very clear: Be DaQuan Jones.
Jones was starting on the Bills’ D-line at the start of the year. Then a pectoral injury ended his season.
Jones was tasked with being the space-eating player in the middle. That’s what Joseph has done in his career.
At times, he was successful at it. In 2017, Pro Football Focus called Joseph the NFL’s “premier run stopper.”
In years since…. maybe age caught up. In terms of being a run stopper, in more recent years PFF has ranked him in that category:
This poor sound guy
Joseph’s fault or this guy’s fault? You decide, but this happened:
Everytime Linval Joseph makes a tackle I think about that sound guy pic.twitter.com/RBCfXAkcHM
— Adam Lefkoe (@AdamLefkoe) December 24, 2019
He didn't see snow for a long time
Joseph has a fun backstory, he was born in the Virgin Islands and was there until he was about 10. He eventually moved to Florida and all in all, that’s not a good mix for snow.
Joseph will see plenty of the white stuff in Buffalo–but his first interaction with it came in 2008 while in college.
But he is still always proud of his upbringing. At one time, he’d go back and spend about a month in the Virgin Islands during the NFL’s offseason.
“That’s the best part of my life, being born in the Virgin Islands,” Joseph said to the Eagles’ team website. “A lot of fishing, a lot of picking fresh fruit.”
Linval Joseph, DVM
A 6-foot-4, 320 pound guy being a defensive tackle in the NFL makes a lot of sense.
That same person taking care of your sick pet? That could be in the cards for Joseph one day.
While with the Chargers, he told their team website what his dream job would be if he wasn’t playing pro football: Being a vet.
“If I wasn’t playing football, I would be a veterinarian,” he said.
Big man on the track
As is traditionally the case with Joseph, his travels were interesting, even in just college alone.
He was going to attend the University of Florida, but due to over recruitment, his scholarship was pulled. From there, he ended up going to East Carolina University.
There… he played football… and was on the track and field team as a big man. As one could guess, he was an expert thrower during field events.
Then something had to give.
“It was too hard. I had to give one up,” Joseph said.
Big man score
Joseph had a pick-six in the NFL, his only touchdown. He picked off a pass against his most-recent teams, the Eagles, while on the Vikings. In fact, he was tracked by NFL Next Gen Stats going 18.2 miles per hour on the play.
Check it out in the clip below:
Joseph was a known commodity in the Bills locker room when he was signed. Mitch Morse will tell you that more than anyone.
The center said he faced Joseph early in his career and noted that the defender gave him his “welcome to the NFL” moment.
Morse’s comments on Joseph can be found in the Spectrum News clip below:
Mitch Morse says his 'Welcome to the NFL' moment back in 2015 was facing Linval Joseph.
"One of the most physically imposing players in the NFL in the past 10-15 years."
— Jon Scott (@JonScottTV) November 2, 2023