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NFL Free Agency: Vikings to release DT Michael Pierce

They couldn’t come to an agreement

Cleveland Browns v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

With the signing of Harrison Phillips, something had to give for the Minnesota Vikings at the defensive tackle position. . .and it now, officially, has.

Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Vikings will be releasing defensive tackle Michael Pierce, a room that will clear up over $6 million in cap space.

Pierce signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Vikings before the start of the 2020 season, but opted out of that season because of COVID concerns stemming from the fact that he has asthma. He came back as the starter at nose tackle this season and had two sacks in the team’s season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. After that, however, Pierce was limited by elbow and shoulder injuries. The team placed him on injured reserve in November and activated him again in early December, but he still wound up playing just eight games on the season.

The Vikings had approached Pierce about restructuring his deal and, as Rapoport says, attempted to move him in a trade, but in the end things couldn’t be worked out, so now he will be free to sign elsewhere.

We wish Michael Pierce the best of luck going forward. . .except for (say it along with me) whenever he faces the Vikings.