5 Vikings players who could be cap casualties in 2022

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Michael Pierce /

Michael Pierce – DT

  • 2022 cap hit: $10,500,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $4,000,000
  • Potential savings: $6.5M

In theory, bringing Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson to Minnesota to solve the problem of teams being able to rack up rushing yards up the middle was a good idea. In practice, it just plain isn’t working.

Minnesota is tied for giving up the third-most yards per carry in the NFL and has given up the fifth-most yards on the ground in total this season. Those are ugly stats for a team that invested so much in their “meaty boys” in the middle.

Pierce’s backup Armon Watts is having a good year and has shown himself to be capable of stepping in at nose tackle if needed. Or Minnesota can slide Tomlinson over to nose and find a solid defensive tackle to play next to him.

With so many ways to cover Pierce’s spot and a salary cap savings of $6.5 million for letting him go, it seems like a logical decision to let the big defensive tackle go and see if they can find success with other personnel on the defensive line.