PHOENIX – During his time with the Giants, no one disliked Linval Joseph – which is another way of saying that everyone loved everything about Joseph.
It’s been that way over a 13-year NFL career with durability, dependability and — we saved the best for last — high-level run-stopping ability, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever seen him. Been around. Great defensive competition.
In his second season with the Giants, Joseph was part of a formidable defensive front that snuck its way to victory in Super Bowl XLVI. After more than a decade, Joseph is back in the big game, a new addition to a formidable group of Eagles set to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Super Bowl 2023 on Sunday.
“I’m back,” Joseph told The Post. “It took 11 years. It feels good. The first one happened so fast, I was young, and this, I’m soaking it all in. I want to enjoy it with my family. This There’s a little extra kick.”
In his second NFL season, Joseph was without two daughters when the Giants traveled to Indianapolis and knocked off Tom Brady and the Patriots. Both of those daughters will attend the game at State Farm Stadium.
Without making headlines or making any waves, Joseph has built an impressive career. He hit or exceeded every expectation as a 2010 second-round draft pick, but when he hit free agency in 2014, the Giants didn’t want to pay him — they thought he’d could be replaced by a smaller, cheaper player – and Joseph went to him. Vikings on a five-year, $31.5 million contract. The Vikings were so pleased with Joseph’s production that they gave him a four-year, $50 million extension in 2017. Three years later, the Vikings let him go, and Joseph received a two-year, $17 million contract from the Chargers.
Joseph was unemployed at the start of the 2022 season, until the Eagles came calling on Nov. 16, looking to bolster their interior run defense for what they envisioned would be a playoff stretch. The next day, the Eagles imported another veteran run stuffer, Ndamukong Suh. Thus a competitor turns thought into an afterthought.
“A lot of teams haven’t reached out to me, and that’s another reason why it means so much, because they gave me a real opportunity, and I want to make sure I put it all on the line for them. kept on,” Joseph said.
With the Giants, Joseph did the dirty work on the inside while Osi Omineyora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul earned touchdowns and sacks. With the Eagles, Joseph is part of a record-breaking defensive line that collected 70 sacks during the season.
“You just have so many stars in one room, you’re a young person, you’re thinking, ‘How can this be possible?’ ” Joseph said earlier this season of his time with the Giants. “And here we go 10, 12 years later, we’re in the same situation, the same. You look around and you’re just like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy.’ “
Joseph, 34, became an instant starter with the Eagles. In the NFC Championship Game, he recovered from a fumble caused by Hassan Reddick when he forced 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy out with an elbow injury in the first quarter.
“He’s been a great presence for us,” Eagles linebacker TJ Edwards said. “His effort every single day, he’s the same guy every single day. It’s a really good unit, a mix of young and old and guys who feed off each other really well.”
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