Michael Pierce Addresses Conditioning Issue

Having missed the voluntary portion of the Ravens’ offseason program, Michael Pierce was present for minicamp after signing his second-round RFA tender. But John Harbaugh sidelined him early on the first day of the mandatory workout due to the emerging defensive tackle being well over his listed 340-pound frame.

Harbaugh pulled Pierce off the field after the stretching portion of the Ravens’ workout, citing the lineman’s health as the reason. The fourth-year defender showed up “significantly” heavier than his listed weight, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

Throughout the offseason, I tend to lift more than run,” Pierce told WNSP-FM radio in Alabama (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). “Being a nose guard, I want to be strong or whatnot. I, honestly, just mismanaged my running a little bit.

At the end of the day, you expect a team leader to come back in better shape than I did. That’s a mistake on my behalf I have to correct.”

This is a critical year for Pierce, who is attached to a $3.095MM salary because of the RFA tender. The former UDFA out of Samford is due for unrestricted free agency next year, and given the Ravens’ pattern of letting talent walk and recouping compensatory picks, Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 interior defender last season may well have a chance to hit the market. This is obviously not a good start to Pierce’s contract year.

You know, of course, you are disappointed with him,” Ravens DC Don Martindale said, via Zreibec. “He’s a dominant player, and he’s got a challenge from here until training camp to hit a certain stage, and that’s (up to) the trainers and (GM Eric DeCosta) and Harbs on where they want him to be at. I know he’ll be there. I know he will.”

Pierce will face a pivotal stretch over the next five-plus weeks, needing to reduce his weight to return to the kind of shape he was in last season. The 26-year-old defender, who started two games last year and 13 in 2017, will have to pass a conditioning test before taking the field for training camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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6 comments on “Michael Pierce Addresses Conditioning Issue

  1. afsooner02

    I’ll never understand the mentality of some athletes when millions of dollars is on the line and it’s partly based on your physical conditioning and you don’t maintain it.

    The second contraction the nfl is usually the big one, with guaranteed money and can set you and your family for life.

      • ahale224

        To get through to that that second contraction that can set you up for life you really have to push!

    • troll_smasher

      He’s not getting millions to show up to mini camp in tip top shape. If he shows up to training camp, can’t lose the weight before season starts, then that is an issue. Plus, people fail to realize how easily most athletes drop weight when the want to.

      • afsooner02

        Didn’t say he was….he’s entering his contract year….THATS the millions on the line. Not mini camp.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    ” I, honestly, just mismanaged my running a little bit.”

    This tends to happen when the only running you do is to the refrigerator.

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