Washington Redskins sign DT Terrance Knighton

Terrance Knighton was one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL over the past 2 seasons, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 9th ranked defensive tackle in 2013 and their 12th ranked in 2014. I expected him to get a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 million over 5 years, but he didn’t come close to that because of concerns about his weight. The big defensive tackle known as Pot Roast reportedly played around 330 last season, which seems to be a comfortable playing weight for him, given how well he played last season, but when a player is that big, there’s always a chance his weight gets out of control and it’s very possible that he’s gotten out of shape since the season ended.

That’s a very real concern, but this 1-year, 4 million dollar deal is still an absolute steal. Not only is it significantly less money annually that what I was expecting him to get, but there’s no risk beyond this season if he does show up to Training Camp overweight. On top of that, the fact that he could only get this type of deal could serve as a wakeup call for him and I like that he’s betting on himself with this type of deal. He’ll have every reason to remain motivated this season and that should translate to continued strong play. Knighton will play nose tackle in Washington’s 3-4 base and is a good enough pass rusher for his size that he can also stay on the field in sub packages and rush the passer. By adding Knighton, Stephen Paea, and Ricky Jean-Francois on cost effective deals this off-season, to go with Jason Hatcher, the Redskins have quietly built a solid defensive line.

Grade: A

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