The Ravens are keeping one of their defensive tackles.

The team signed Michael Pierce to a two-year, $7.5 million contract extension through 2025, according to ESPN, retaining one of their top run defenders after a strong season.

Pierce, 31, confirmed he had agreed to a new contract Saturday evening after the Ravens lost to Pittsburgh 17-10. The veteran entered this season as a pending free agent after taking a $2 million pay cut as part of a contract restructure, has started all 17 games and played 605 defensive snaps (prior to the Steelers game) this season, both career highs. Injuries limited him to 11 total starts over his 2021 season with the Minnesota Vikings and 2022 season in Baltimore, where he started his career in 2016.

Despite his performance, Pierce wasn’t sure staying in Baltimore, where he’s spent six of his seven seasons, was in the cards for him.

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“It’s very important for me to stay here,” Pierce said. “I didn’t know that was a possibility at the beginning of the year. I just kind of prayed ... and I’m super grateful they wanted me back.”

Pierce, who was passed over in the 2016 draft, is tied for third on the Ravens in run stops (20), which are tackles that constitute a “failure” for the offense, according to Pro Football Focus, and is behind only defensive lineman Travis Jones in run-stop rate (10.6%).

Pierce has one sack this season and 30 quarterback pressures, according to PFF, fifth most on the Ravens and by far the most of his career. He’s second among NFL interior linemen in pass-coverage snaps, as much a reflection of his increased role on obvious passing downs as it is defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s schematic creativity.

At 31, with two more years left on his contract, Pierce hopes to finish his career as a Raven.

“I’ve played here the longest; it feels like home to me, so for me to be able to wrap my career up here, it’s a dream come true,” Pierce said.

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Pierce is the second Ravens defensive linemen to earn a contract extension over the past five months, after Broderick Washington signed a three-year, $15.8 million deal in August. Now the Ravens have to figure out whether they can keep Pro Bowl defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, a pending free agent who leads the team with 13 sacks.

Ravens reporter Giana Han contributed to this article.

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

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