2. Michael Pierce:
Michael Pierce is the most recent Baltimore Ravens nose tackle to be a key cog on their defense. Pierce’s play has put him in conversations of the franchise’s top nose tackles along with guys like Tony Siragusa, Sam Adams, and Kelly Gregg. Pierce has been a stud for four years in Baltimore, but can they retain him long-term?
Bringing back Pierce is a heavy investment, but it could be entirely worth it. Pierce and Brandon Williams have teamed up to form a formidable defensive line that makes it almost impossible for opposing offenses to run on. The two are space-eating monsters.
Pierce’s value comes more from shutting down running lanes than it does rushing the quarterback. Pierce has just 3.5 career sacks to his name despite missing just four games in his career. While it isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s hard to justify paying both Williams and Pierce big-time money to get almost nothing in the sack department.
It’s tough to let such a splendid young man walk, but Baltimore is likely going to be faced with that reality. The team did draft Daylon Mack in last year’s draft to potentially replace Pierce should this scenario arise. Pierce has outplayed what the Ravens can offer him and he deserves to get paid the big-bucks by another team for his play.
Verdict: Let him walk