Vikings release DT Michael Pierce, agree to terms with LB Jordan Hicks

Michael Pierce #58 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after a play in the second quarter of the game against the Cleveland Browns at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 3, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images))

NFL free agency doesn’t officially start until Wednesday, but the Minnesota Vikings are already making some moves to change the roster for the 2022 season.

The Vikings announced Tuesday morning they’ve released defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal before the 2020 season. Pierce later opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns with having asthma and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pierce played in just eight games in 2021, dealing with an elbow injury most of the season. In those eight games, Pierce had 20 tackles, three sacks and forced one fumble.

The moved seemed like a forgone conclusion after the Vikings reportedly agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Harrison Phillips, who played defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills the last four seasons. Phillips had 51 tackles, including four tackles for loss and one sack in 14 games last season, starting eight.

The Vikings also had two free agents depart for other teams on Monday. Safety Xavier Woods reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Mason Cole, who filled in admirably on the offensive line last season, agreed to a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


The Vikings announced Tuesday afternoon that they've agreed to terms with former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks. He started all 49 games for the Cardinals over the last three seasons, and made at least 116 tackles in each of the last three seasons.

The Vikings' new coaching staff intends to run a 3-4 defensive scheme, and Hicks would play alongside Eric Kendricks. Hicks spent his first four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before playing the last three with the Cardinals. He has 89 career starts, 10.5 sacks, 11 interceptions and 41 tackles for loss.