3. Linval Joseph, defensive tackle
- 2020 cap hit: $12,887,500
- Dead cap: $2,400,000
- Potential 2020 savings: $10.4875 million
“The Big Goon” will be turning 32 this year and the wear and tear on his body seem to be taking a toll on him. Last year, he missed three games due to injury and while his sack numbers are still solid, some of his other numbers took a dip.
Linval Joseph had the fewest tackles in his career since becoming an NFL starter with the Giants, which could raise the question of whether or not his run-stuffing ability is on the decline. With young big men like Jaleel Johnson and Armon Watts both looking solid, it’s possible the Vikings would feel comfortable with a younger, cheaper option at the position.
Minnesota would be losing a leader on its defensive line if they were to move on from Joseph after six seasons, but with the salary cap situation the way it is and solid depth under him, there is a good chance the Vikings go this route.
In fact, releasing Joseph would also clear a $12.5 million cap hit from 2021 off the books and allow the team to look into extending some of their current players becoming free agents or look into acquiring individuals to help while the team can still be considered a contender.