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Vikings Release Defensive Tackle Michael Pierce


EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have moved on from Michael Pierce, ending the defensive tackle's time in Minnesota after just two years.

His release helps the Vikings save money for their salary cap situation. Minnesota announced the move Tuesday.

Pierce was heralded as one of the Vikings top free agent signings in the spring of 2020, but he endured an up-and-down tenure with the Vikings.

The mammoth defensive tackle signed a three-year deal, but voluntarily opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

He then played just eight games in 2021 as he dealt with injuries in his first active season with the Vikings.

Pierce started off strong with a pair of sacks in Minnesota's season opener, but was injured in practice before the Vikings Week 4 home loss to Cleveland.

He tried to play through the injury against the Browns but left — Pierce later revealed he suffered a torn triceps muscle — and missed the next seven games. He returned for four contests but then missed the final two games of the regular season.

In all, Pierce started eight games and played 251 defensive snaps, just 20.8 percent of Minnesota's season total.

He recorded 20 tackles (12 solo) with 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The release of Pierce means Minnesota still has James Lynch, T.Y. McGill, Jordon Scott, T.J. Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jaylen Twyman and Armon Watts under contract at defensive tackle.