Vikings Big Ticket Free Agent Signing, Michael Pierce Opts-Out of 2020 Season

Photo: Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/Getty Images

As veterans across the NFL are reporting for training camp today, some around the league are choosing not to. Instead, those individuals are opting out of their contracts and sitting out of the 2020 season, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Minnesota Vikings are the latest team, but not the first, to have a major contributor choose not to play. According to multiple reports, their big-ticket free agent, (DT) Michael Pierce, has opted-out of his $8M salary. $3 million will be pushed from 2020 to 2021.

High-Risk Category – Asthma

Pierce, who played for Baltimore in 2019, was signed in the offseason to fill a gaping hole on the defensive line after Linval Joseph left in free agency. The 27-year-old has dealt with asthma since childhood and uses an inhaler daily.

He told the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, that he has experienced issues with his respiratory system and with breathing, making this a “high risk” opt out and not a “voluntary” one.

As stated earlier, the Vikings gain an additional $3M in cap this year, and his contract will toll to 2021. Pierce also will reportedly still receive a $350,000 stipend from the league as he is a high-risk employee.

Pierce plans to return to the Vikings for the 2021 season. Pierce was supposed to be an anchor for the defensive line this year, but Vikings fans will have to wait a year as he is clearly making the right decision for himself and his own well-being.

Ameer Eldiomatti | Minnesota Sports Fan

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