The first of the Baltimore Ravens key free agents have signed with a new team, as Michael Pierce lands with the Minnesota Vikings.
Michael Pierce was a staple of the Baltimore Ravens defense over the last four years since going undrafted in 2016 out of Samford. Pierce was stout against the run and kept Baltimore’s linebackers clean against the run. Baltimore definitely got their money’s worth out of Pierce. For his efforts, the Minnesota Vikings have given Pierce a three-year contract worth $27 million.
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The Vikings recently moved on from nose tackle Linval Joesph, making the nose tackle spot a need for the team. Adding Pierce allows the team to get younger and potentially better at the position. As Ravens fans know, Pierce is fierce (no rhyme intended) against the run and is a gap eating monster. He’ll fit into Minnesota’s defense well.
2019 was perhaps the “worst” year of Michael Pierce’s career, but he was never 100% healthy and the Ravens defense wasn’t their usual self against the run because of it. When Pierce is 100%, however, he’s hard to stop.
Pierce will play on a defensive line featuring all-world edge rusher Danielle Hunter and a front-seven that also has star linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. The Vikings have had a strong defense for the majority of head coach Mike Zimmer’s stint with the team, so Pierce will fit in well.
It was a foreseen conclusion for Baltimore that Michael Pierce was going to move on from the team. The Ravens were strapped on cash headed into the offseason and it was presumed that Pierce’s market would be out of the team’s price range. It was certainly surprising to see Baltimore bring in Michael Brockers for a bigger contract than what Pierce got, though. The Brockers signing was the writing on the wall that the team was no longer interested in bringing Pierce back.
Perhaps it was just time for the two parties to move on. Pierce will be beloved by Ravens fans for what he gave the team and he’s one of my personal all-time favorite players.
It’s a bummer to see Michael Pierce go, but again it became a forgone conclusion he was out of Baltimore the moment the Ravens signed Michael Brockers. We wish the best of luck to Pierce and will be cheering him on. Congrats on the new contract, Michael, and make Ravens Flock proud!