Washington Signs Terrance Knighton

FRIDAY, 12:50pm: Knighton’s deal with Washington is now official, the team announced today (via Twitter).

THURSDAY, 6:10pm: Washington is set to sign Terrance Knighton to a one-year, $4MM deal, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Knighton had been meeting with the team in the nation’s capital on Thursday.

When Luke Adams listed PFR’s top 50 free agents recently, he ranked Pot Roast 16th on our list. The six-year veteran was an integral part of a Broncos team that had the league’s second-best run defense in 2014, and Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Knighton 12th among 81 qualifying D-tackles last season. Knighton, 29 in July, recorded 33 total tackles with two sacks and three pass deflections last season. Even in the season prior, the advanced metrics at PFF (subscription required) showed that he was one of the best as he finished with an overall grade of 18.4, placing him ninth amongst all qualified defensive tackles in 2013.

Earlier today, a head coach told Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 that teams were afraid to sign Knighton because of his physical condition. This is purely speculative, but that could be a reason for Knighton’s surprisingly inexpensive deal. The deal is identical to the one-year, $4MM pact that B.J. Raji signed with the Packers almost one year ago today.

The Raiders appeared to be nearing a deal with Pot Roast, but on Tuesday we learned that he won’t be going to Oakland or returning to Denver. The Colts, Patriots, Seahawks, Ravens, and Chargers also expressed varying degrees of interest in Knighton, but it’s not clear which of those teams were really in the mix towards the end.

One of Washington’s top priorities this offseason was to beef up the defensive line and they’ve done just that with the additions of Stephen Paea, Ricky Jean-Francois, and Knighton. With Knighton off the board, Nick Fairley stands as the unquestioned No. 1 defensive tackle left on the open market, so it’ll be interesting to see how this deal affects his pay day.

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