Vikings nose tackle Michael Pierce is opting out of the 2020 season, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). the Vikings signed Pierce in March to shore up their defensive front – without him, they’re left thin on the interior with weeks to go before the start of the season.
Pierce inked a three-year, $27MM deal to help replace Linval Joseph, following his departure to the Chargers. The 6-foot, 340-pound defensive lineman was slated to start, but he’ll sit out the year after assessing the risk. Pierce has a history of respiratory trouble, meaning that the coronavirus could put him in serious jeopardy.
In 2019, with the Ravens, Pierce logged 35 tackles (two for loss) in 14 starts. Previous to that, Pierce graded as one of the top interior defenders in football in 2017 and ’18, per Pro Football Focus, before dipping to a middle-of-the-pack spot in his contract year.
Pierce is just the latest NFL notable to opt out of the upcoming season. The full and ever-growing list can be found here, on PFR’s 2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker.