Gut Reaction: Terrance Knighton heads to Washington

Terrance Knighton is off to Washington on a one-year, $4M deal, according to Josina Anderson. It's a far cry from the figures floated by Mike Klis and Troy Renck in recent months, but we're talking about a guy who plays limited snaps and doesn't generate much of a pass rush.

Per Troy Renck, the defensive tackle had also drawn interest from New England, Indy, and San Diego. Seattle and Baltimore may also have been involved. As noted by Lindsay Jones, Knighton will team up with onetime Broncos tackle Chris Baker; the two grew up together in Windsor, CT.

A few reactions:

- On separate occasions, Pot Roast said he'd take less money to stay in Denver, citing the importance of playing for a winning organization. Taking a one-year deal from Daniel Snyder probably doesn't fit under either of those criteria.

- Obviously, this is a so-called "prove it" deal, where Knighton and his agent are hoping to strike a bigger contract next offseason. It's not like he had a poor season in 2014, though. As we've noted many times of late, run-stuffing defensive tackles who are optimized at 30-35 snaps per game don't get paid $8M/year contracts. Rather, those deals go to guys who are both stout against the run and productive in the pass rush.

- Broncos Country is already asking why the Broncos either didn't or couldn't match the deal Terrance got from Washington. But we can't assume they had the opportunity to do so. On Tuesday, it was reported that Denver and Oakland were out of the bidding for Pot Roast.

- From there, a few entirely speculative thoughts:

  1. There must be something pretty great about playing in the NFL alongside your lifelong best friend. It has to be hard to put a price tag on that.
  2. There's also the matter of pride. After all the talk of megacontracts, wouldn't it be kind of embarrassing to slink back into Dove Valley on a one-year, $4M deal?
  3. Terrance started to talk three weeks ago of feeling disrespected by the Broncos. There's a theme developing here, isn't there? Julius Thomas and Orlando Franklin admitted to hurt feelings after not having heard from the Broncos. It's entirely possible that Denver didn't want any of these players back at anything resembling market value.
  4. This is probably the least likely scenario, but did the Broncos also grossly underestimate the market for Knighton? Is it possible they didn't bother talking to his agent, figuring he'd be priced well beyond their budget, and this deal is catching them by surprise?

- There's a good chance that Terrance soon lets everyone in on his thinking, and how things got to this point, at least from his perspective. Until then, as with all of these departures, we'd be best served by putting ourselves in the player's shoes and imagining the emotional rollercoaster he's been riding for however many days/weeks/months it's been. A lot goes into these decisions, and it's almost never just about money, scheme, and/or loyalty.

- According to our friend Nick Korte (OTC writer and IAOFM reader), this modest deal means Knighton will only bring Denver back a sixth-round compensatory pick (as will Rahim Moore). A heftier contract likely would have propped that up to a fifth- or even fourth-rounder.

- We wish Terrance well. It was a fun two years watching him play and hearing/reading what he's had to say. He's a character, and an excellent player, too. Even if it was just two seasons, Pot Roast made an indelible mark on the Broncos during that time, and we should forever be grateful. As always, we should remember that the NFL is entertainment, and Knighton is a wonderful entertainer.

Good Luck, Pot Roast.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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