Michael Pierce became the Minnesota Vikings first big free agent acquisition, but what can the imposing defensive tackle bring to the franchise?
An undrafted product out of Samford, Pierce worked his way up the Ravens’ depth chart and became a key component in their defense. Although they ultimately fell short in the NFL playoffs, there was plenty to like about the player’s production.
This earned him some interest on the free-agent market before signing a lucrative deal with the Vikings. Pierce will get the chance to fill the void left by Joseph, who was released prior to the legal tampering period to give the organization some salary cap breathing space.
Pierce has some big shoes to fill, with Joseph playing well for the majority of last season. The decision to let him go was purely a business one and saved the Minnesota Vikings a little over $10 million in cap space.
There is little doubt Pierce has something to offer and is heading into the prime of his career. What he lacks in pass-rushing he more than makes up for in other areas.
How he settles into a locker room that has lost some influential members will be critical. The Vikings need some more veteran leadership and Pierce is a boisterous character that provides a real spark when he is in the mood.
This is the first real splash that the Minnesota decision-makers have made to bring someone new into the fold during free agency. Given the limited resources available, they are counting on Pierce to make a big difference.