The Washington Redskins signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2001. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, with 7 starts. He recorded 52 tackles and one interception during his rookie campaign. The interception came against Jake Plummer. Over the next two seasons, Pierce played sporadically, recording only 18 and 15 tackles respectively, during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. It wasn't until the 2004 season, his fourth in the league, that he played a full season replacing the injured Michael Barrow. That season Pierce logged a career high 114 tackles, 95 of them solo. He also had two interceptions, one of which was a pick off Ken Dorsey that he returned 76 yards for a touchdown, and a forced fumble.
The New York Giants signed him on March 3, 2005 to start at inside linebacker. He became the captain of the defense, and in 13 games, Pierce notched 100 tackles, 80 of them solo, two interceptions and one forced fumble returned for a touchdown. His 2005 season ended early as he suffered a leg injury, against the Philadelphia Eagles, and missed the final three regular season games and the Giants' only postseason game, a 23-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Pierce recorded a career-high 160 tackles (109 solo), a sack, an interception, and defended 8 passes. Pierce was named as a first alternate for the Pro Bowl. He was invited to play in Hawaii after Brian Urlacher suffered a toe injury in Super Bowl XLI, and withdrew from the Pro Bowl.
Inspired by his own experiences growing up in Compton, it has become his mission to improve the quality of life for the youth in the Long Beach/Compton area. For several years, Pierce has offered a free football camp for underprivileged youths.
In 2006, the widely respected football player became the spokesperson for Giants Academy—a program for inner city youth geared toward helping these children succeed despite obstacles in their life. He is also involved in the “Read Across America” program wherein he reads to children whose parents are undergoing treatment for chemical dependency at the Odyssey House in Harlem.
In 2007, Pierce received the “United Way Man of the Year” award and was honored by the Catholic Diocese for his support of the community.
Pierce was honored at the 2008 ESPY awards along with the Giants.
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