Ravens Cautioned Against Letting Key Free Agent Defender Walk

Michael Pierce

Getty Michael Pierce comes on the field in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Ravens figure to see many moving parts this offseason, and will have plenty of big decisions to make on who stays and who goes in the coming days.

An answer to who stays, according to some, should be easy. The Ravens need to make sure that they can keep defensive lineman Michael Pierce according to Bleacher Report. Writer Alex Ballentine put together a list of the players that should stick in their home cities, and Pierce was the pick in this case.

Here’s what Ballentine said about Pierce:

“The Ravens already took care of their most pressing need in placing the franchise tag on pass-rusher Matthew Judon. After letting Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith walk last offseason, it was imperative they brought back their top edge-defender.

Now they can direct their attention to interior defender Michael Pierce.

After last season, it’s easy to make the argument the Ravens can let him walk. However, that overlooks the bigger picture. In his four years with Baltimore, he’s played a critical role in a defense that has traditionally been strong at stopping the run.

Pierce and the run defense took a dip last season, giving up 4.4 yards per carry (20th). In 2018, when Pierce carried a 92.0 PFF grade against the run, Baltimore’s defense held teams to a league-best 3.7 yards per carry.

The Ravens know what Pierce can offer when he’s at the top of his game. His subpar season in 2019 could benefit them as it drives down his price, allowing the Ravens to keep continuity in their front seven.”

Changes are coming along Baltimore’s front with the addition of Calais Campbell and the likely subtraction of Matt Judon in the coming weeks. Someone like Pierce could be quickly priced out of Baltimore’s range if a team prioritizes him, meaning the Ravens could have no choice but to say goodbye to a solid interior defender.

That’s not something which should be happening according to Bleacher Report, but this time of year, anything is possible.

Michael Pierce Stats

Pierce is a defensive tackle of the Baltimore Ravens who has 161 tackles and 3.5 sacks to his credit. He’s a strong run stuffer and someone a team that is looking to put a premium on clogging the lanes would look at as a potential great option. Pierce, from Samford, has transformed himself into one of the better interior defenders in football in terms of filling a role. His stats might not be huge, but he’s a player who has figured in vital for the Ravens within their ability to stuff the run and control the defensive front.

Ravens Offseason Needs

The Ravens are seemingly in a decent spot in terms of both sides of the ball thanks to the fact that they have a young roster, but there’s little question that the team needs to make a few well placed additions, especially on offense, as Eric DeCosta hints. Baltimore could use another receiving threat to help Lamar Jackson, and depending on what happens with some of the team’s own free agents, cornerback and linebacker could be on the docket as well.

Baltimore shouldn’t need many dramatic moves, but should continue to lock up their own talent while looking to make a few well-placed additions to the mix.

According to many, a guy like Pierce should be prioritized in terms of sticking around for the future.

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