Terrance Knighton: 'I Was The Biggest Steal' Of NFL Free Agency

Posted: Jun 14 2015, 10:22pm CDT | by , in Latest Sports News


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Terrance Knighton: 'I Was The Biggest Steal' Of NFL Free Agency
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  • Terrance Knighton told Sports Illustrated's Don Banks on June 11 he's "the biggest steal" of NFL free agency.

New Washington Redskins defensive tackle Terrance Knighton told Sports Illustrated's Don Banks on June 11 he's "the biggest steal" of NFL free agency.

New Washington Redskins defensive tackle Terrance Knighton considers himself the biggest steal of the NFL's free agency period.

This was what Knighton told Sports Illustrated's Don Banks on June 11 after another round of the Redskins organized team activities (OTAs):

"Yeah, I was the (biggest steal). But I've always bet on myself. I consider myself a premier player in this league, and I've got a lot of football left. This will be my seventh season, so when I hit the table again, there won't be any excuses next time."

According to Banks, Knighton started all 32 games in his two seasons with the Denver Broncos in 2013 and 2014. Football fans and experts alike lauded Knighton's productivity which helped the Broncos reach Super Bowl XLVIII.

However, Banks stresses Knighton is aware some teams may have been too concerned about his weight issues, affecting his free agency plans. Knighton, in particular, was a bit thrown off by the lack of interest shown by both the Broncos and Oakland Raiders, former Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio's new team:

"Yeah, maybe my weight was an issue for some, but my thing is turn on the tape. There have been plenty of big guys. I'm not the first guy to come through this league. You've got Vince Wilfork, you've got Casey Hampton.

"All these types of guys who have been big and successful and got big contracts. But turn on my tape. There are guys at my position in this league who make more money than me, but who can't fit into my shoes.

"I was surprised (by Oakland), but they went a different way. They made their decision and they'll have to live with it."

Banks suspects Knighton may have been hinting at is Dan Williams, who signed a four-year, $25 million deal with $15.2 million in guaranteed money with the Raiders this offseason. Williams' deal is much more lucrative than Knighton's, which is for $4 million and one year with Washington.

Knighton is listed at 331 pounds on the Redskins roster but is actually closer to a weight between "the high 360s or even 370," per Banks. This may be the reason why the Broncos didn't go out of their way to re-sign him.

Bleacher Report writer Mike Freeman wrote back in Jan. 2014 that Knighton has amassed more than $300,000 in fines during his career for being overweight. Freeman's league sources claim they have never heard of a weight-related fine being that big.

Back then, Freeman says the Broncos wanted Knighton to control his weight in order for him to be effective. However, he has not been able to do that. He told Banks he played at around 350 pounds in his last season in Denver.

The Redskins are making sure Knighton complies with their weight requirements as an estimated $450,000 regarding this issue is stipulated in his one-year deal, per Banks.

For his part, second-year Redskins head coach Jay Gruden told Banks last week he was surprised when Knighton was still available in March:

"I was actually surprised he was available. We didn't play Denver last year so I didn't get a big look at him on tape, but I remember from the playoff run they had two years ago he was damn near unstoppable in there. He's got great hands and it's very tough to sustain a block with him. He sheds blocks extremely well.

"It was a surprise to see him on the market; but when we put the film on, he looked fine to me, so we were excited to get him. He's a unique guy because he's such a wrecker in the run game. It's just hard to find those guys. 'Yeah, go ahead and run up the middle against him. Now it's second-and-eight, so good job.'"

Gruden also told Banks that Knighton has been working with the Redskins' nutritionist and strength training coach to keep him in shape:

"Maybe teams were worried he got too big and maybe teams were off of the big defensive linemen, because a lot of them want to go smaller up front and rush the passer. It depends on a team's need. The problem with a big man like that is, how much base offense are you seeing?

"He's known for being a big run-stopping guy, but a lot of teams are doing a spread-out passing game so often.

"But yeah, his weight, that's big. I'm more worried about him personally, for him to be in life-after-football shape, and to be able to control his weight. He's doing a good job and taking a lot of good steps. But a lot of it's up to him.

"I think he can do whatever he wants to do, because he's that type of guy. He's a tough-minded guy, and if he doesn't handle it, we'll make sure we help him and try to get him down where we need to."

When the Redskins signed Knighton on March 13, he told Andrew Walker of the team's official website he brings a lot of intangibles:

"During the year, guys will definitely be prepared -- I'll keep guys prepared. I played with a lot of different leaders. I played with Champ Bailey who played here once, played with Peyton Manning. So, I've seen different types of leadership, and it rubbed off on myself.

"I was captain last year in Denver, so I plan to bring my leadership to this team and get this defense to the top of the league.

"I breathe football. That's all I talk about.

"I'm still hungry, and I'm just looking forward to submitting my name into this organization. Being great, being one of those guys 20 years from now, I walk in and see my picture on the wall.

"There are a lot of things left that I want to do and hoisting the trophy is something I still haven't done yet and I'd like to hoist it here."

The 28-year-old Knighton has amassed 201 tackles, 12.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two interceptions in 93 career regular-season games for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos, per ESPN stats.

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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