Detroit Lions: Four free agents to replace Damon Harrison

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

DT Michael Pierce

The Baltimore Ravens defense seems to be stout year in and year out.  John Harbaugh is one of the most underrated head coaches in all of football.  He’s a relentless motivator; players seem to love him and are willing to buy into his techniques.

The Ravens defense is called by Don ‘Wink” Martindale.  He’s destined to be a head coach in this league in the near future.  His name often surfaced this offseason, but somehow Harbaugh was able to keep both of his coordinators in place as we head towards the start of the new season.

Michael Pierce isn’t one of the premier free agent names we will hear once the free agency period officially opens, but he’s a run-stuffer that can replace Harrison next season.  He won’t command a massive contract; it won’t take a bunch of guaranteed money to land him.

Pierce is 27 years old; the 6-footer plays around 340 pounds.  If that doesn’t spell out space clogger, nothing does.

He’s not going to help the Detroit Lions pass rush, but he will clog the middle of the offensive line, which will allow linebackers to roam free and make tackles in space.  The Ravens allowed the fifth-lowest rushing yards last season.  Pierce only played 49% of Baltimore’s defensive snaps, which is a bit concerning, but he regularly came off the field in distinct passing situations.

Pierce made 3M last season, and as he enters free agency, he may find himself making in that neighborhood once again, but hitting the open market usually allows for a premium; he may make around 4-5M per season.  The point is he will be very affordable.

Last season he managed a dependable 69.2 overall mark courtesy of PFF, which was much better than Harrison for a fraction of the price.  Against the run, he graded out at 70.6, and his pass rush came in at 63.3.  Overall he’s worth what he will make on the open market.

He totaled 35 tackles, and just 0.5 sacks last season.