Vikings GM Hints Key Defender Returns in 2021

Michael Pierce could be returning to the Minnesota Vikings in 2021.
Michael Pierce could be returning to the Minnesota Vikings in 2021. / Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Last offseason, the Minnesota Vikings made a splashy signing by landing former Baltimore Ravens' defensive tackle Michael Pierce. Pierce was ProFootballFocus' fifth-highest graded defensive tackle in 2018 and he followed that up with a rock-solid 2019 campaign.

Unfortunately, Vikings fans never got to see their prized DT play in 2020, as he opted out of the season. But thankfully, GM Rick Spielman hinted that the 28-year-old will be returning in 2021.

This was far from a sure thing, as Minnesota has pretty limited financial flexibility this offseason. But assuming all goes according to plan, Pierce should be able to provide a huge boost to this defense.

Minnesota had the league's third-worst run defense by DVOA in 2020. Getting back a run-stuffer like Pierce, who received PFF's fourth-best grade as a run defender among DTs in 2018, should help solve that issue pretty quickly.

The Vikings still have plenty of work to do if they want to fix the league's fourth-worst scoring defense, but Pierce's return is a pretty good first step.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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