5 recent members of the Vikings you've (probably) forgotten about

Former Minnesota Vikings WR Dede Westbrook
Former Minnesota Vikings WR Dede Westbrook / David Berding/GettyImages
2 of 6

Former Viking No. 1

Michael Pierce - DT

Michael Pierce was the Vikings' big free agent signing back in 2020. He was brought in to replace the aging Linval Joseph as a younger, bigger, and potentially more impactful player. Unfortunately, a series of events unfolded that made Pierce one of the biggest Vikings free-agent flops in recent memory.

Pierce's first season with the team was the COVID year. Players had the option to sit out the season and have it not count against their contracts if they weren't comfortable playing in a pandemic. Due to medical reasons, Pierce opted to go that route and missed his first season with the club. While one can't fault a guy for choosing his health over his career, it was disappointing not to see him out there.

Pierce got fans hyped for his 2021 season when he was posting workout videos on social media. These videos showed him throwing extremely heavy medicine balls against a wall, showcasing his immense strength and explosion. It was seen as a foregone conclusion that he would dominate in his return to the field.

Pierce started the first eight games and had three sacks and 20 tackles before injuring his elbow and missing the remainder of the season. He was released in the offseason and ended up back in Baltimore. In that span, Linval Joseph, the man he replaced, racked up 119 tackles, six tackles for a loss, and a sack.

Moving on from Joseph proved to be a mistake, and many Vikings fans likely would be hard-pressed to name the man who replaced "The Big Goon."