Pierce earned his walking papers from Minnesota earlier this week. The Vikings tried to convince Pierce to take a “moderate pay cut,” and when that didn’t happen, they tried to trade him. They couldn’t find any takers, so they ended up moving on from the defensive lineman. Pierce signed a three-year, $27MM deal with the Vikings in 2020, and he was set to have a $10.5MM cap hit in 2022. His release left behind $4MM in dead cap.
After opting out of the 2020 campaign, Pierce made his Vikings debut in 2021. He ultimately collected 20 tackles and three sacks in eight starts. He suffered an elbow injury that forced him to miss the middle chunk of the season.
Following his release from Minnesota, there were whispers that Pierce could look towards a reunion with Baltimore (via Josina Anderson on Twitter), but it was uncertain if the return of Za’Darius Smith would price the Ravens out of the sweepstakes. Ultimately, the two sides agreed to terms, and Pierce will now return to the team that took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent in 2016. The Stanford product ended up spending the first four seasons of his career with the Ravens, starting 30 of his 60 games.