Michael Pierce elected to opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now he’s back for what will be his first year with the Vikings.
Pierce was a solid force on the interior of the Ravens’ defensive line for the first four years of his career. And he’ll have another stout lineman to play with, after Minnesota recently signed former Giants defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.
Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Pierce shared his excitement for the pairing.
“Obviously Dalvin was a top priority for us,” Pierce said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “I played next to Brandon Williams, another nose guard, so as far as that goes, I think it’ll be great. We had one of the top run defenses in Baltimore. I’ve always kind of known what we had going on, what we were looking forward to doing in free agency. They’ve done a great job keeping me a part of the loop, but it’ll be a great time to compete against him and actually learn from him.
“Until you’re done and retired, I don’t think you can quit learning, and [Tomlinson has] done a great job being a nose guard and getting sacks, something I haven’t been the best at. I’m going to learn from him, and I’m sure he can take some things from me, so it’ll be a beneficial relationship for both of us.”
Pierce registered 3.5 sacks in his 60 games with Baltimore, while also totaling 13 tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hits. Tomlinson had 3.5 sacks in 2020 alone, and has 8.0 in his career. He’s also recorded 21 tackles for loss and 20 quarterback hits since the Giants took him in the second round of the 2017 draft.