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Ex-Ravens running back Bernard Pierce claimed by Jaguars

Running back Bernard Pierce was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars off waivers from the Ravens one day after he was released following his arrest for driving under the influence, according to an NFL source.

Running back Bernard Pierce wasn't out of a job for long as he was claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, one day after he was released by the Ravens following his arrest for driving under the influence in Baltimore County.

Pierce was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with driving under the influence after being pulled over for speeding 55mph in a 30mph zone and failing a series of field sobriety tests.

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Pierce was entering the final year of a four-year, $2.66 million rookie contract with the Jaguars claiming a $660,000 nonguaranteed base salary. Pierce was drafted by the Ravens in the third round in 2012 out of Temple.

Pierce was in a vulnerable roster situation with the Ravens even before his legal problems because of the presence of Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro and the team wanting to draft a running back.

With the Jaguars, Pierce could emerge as a strong contender for playing time as he joins a backfield that has modest talent with running backs Denard Robinson, Toby Gerhart and Storm Johnson on the roster.

Pierce, 23, is a power runner at 6-foot, 230 pounds who has rushed for 1,334 career yards and five touchdowns in three NFL seasons, averaging 3.8 yards per carry in 45 games.

Pierce got beat out for the starting job last season by Forsett, who thrived as the replacement for Ray Rice. Pierce rushed for 366 yards and two touchdowns last season as he averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

As a rookie, Pierce averaged 4.9 yards per carry and gained a career-high 532 yards in the regular season as the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. During four playoff games that season, Pierce rushed for 202 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

End zone

Ravens defensive lineman Lawrence Guy's two-year contract is worth $2.3 million and includes a $500,000 signing bonus, according to a league source. ... The Ravens have scheduled a predraft visit with Utah cornerback-safety Eric Rowe, according to a source. They also met with Rowe at the NFL scouting combine

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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