According to reports, Michael Pierce agreed to a deal with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday. The now-former Ravens defensive tackle was one of Baltimore’s most high-profile free agents this year. The expectation always was that Pierce would leave the Ravens, and that expectation only intensified after recent Ravens signings and trades. Pierce’s decision to sign with the Vikings was first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. She reported that Pierce would sign a three year deal with the Vikings. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported that Pierce’s 3-year deal was worth $27 million, with another $1 million in incentives. Rapoport also noted that the deal carried $18 million in guaranteed money.
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 18, 2020
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020
Pierce joined the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He made his mark against the New Orleans Saints in the final game of the 2016 preseason, which proved to clinch him a roster spot. Pierce quickly developed into one of the better run stuffers in the National Football League, but remaining in Baltimore throughout his whole career always seemed in doubt. Sharing money across the defensive line would be tough, especially after Williams signed a 5-year, $54 million deal in 2017.
The Ravens quickly signaled the franchise’s willingness to part ways with Williams before the start of the new league year. The Ravens traded for the Jaguar’s defensive lineman Calais Campbell and signed him to a two-year, $27 million deal immediately afterward. The Ravens also signed former Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers on Monday, the team’s first major free-agent acquisition of the year. Baltimore also re-signed defensive linemen Justin Ellis and Jihad Ward on Tuesday, all but confirming Pierce’s exist.
Pierce is the second Ravens’ unrestricted free agent to leave the team on Wednesday. Wide receiver Seth Roberts also departed for the Carolina Panthers. The Ravens also declined defensive back Brandon Carr’s contract option on Tuesday, making him a free agent.