The Ravens will reunite with a former defender after all as they’ve come to a verbal agreement with defensive tackle Michael Pierce on a three-year, $16.5 million deal.
This news comes after the Ravens were reeling from the cancelled deal between them and Za’Darius Smith.
Pierce, the former Raven, spent four seasons in Baltimore. He began as an undrafted free agent who came on strong with a dominant preseason game against the New Orleans Saints where he strip-sacked quarterback Josh McCown and recovered his own forced fumble in the endzone for a defensive touchdown.
After earning a roster spot, Pierce totaled 3.5 sacks with the club before signing a three-year, $27 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. However, Pierce opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and then played in only eight games with the Vikings in 2021 where he totaled three sacks.
According to PFF, Pierce is a highly-rated pass rusher. In 2021, Pierce was given an 84.5 pass rush grade, ranking him No. 6 in the league among defensive lineman. This ranks above Cameron Heyward (No. 7), Linval Joseph (No. 8) and J.J. Watt (No. 9).
Though this addition does not replace the absence of Smith, it still fills a great need at defensive lineman with defensive linemen Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell and Justin Ellis currently still in free agency.