NFL Rumors: Terrance Knighton Leaving Washington For New England Patriots

NFL rumors are swirling around Terrance Knighton. After meeting with the Washington Redskins, the team that the 29-year-old defensive tackle played for last season, he walked away without a contract. That led many to believe that he was going to be finding his fourth team in the National Football League. According to ESPN, Knighton has decided that he wants to play with the New England Patriots this season. Terrance will be competing for a starting spot with the Patriots.

According to sources, the deal that Terrance Knighton signed with the New England Patriots is for one year and is worth $4.5 million. That type of money means that management expects you to be on the field quite a bit. Knighton was on the field a good amount of time for the Washington Redskins last season, starting 15 out of 16 games for them. Ironically enough, the only game that Knight missed was against the Patriots.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]

Terrance Knighton was not the first choice for the New England Patriots. Head coach Bill Belichick really wanted Nick Fairley, but he opted to reunite with James Laurinaitis by signing with the New Orleans Saints. Once that happened, Belichick moved on to the next guy on the list, which was Knighton. Terrance has been in the NFL long enough to not take things like that personally because plenty of second and third choices have turned out just fine.

Even though he was paid $4.5 million, Terrance Knighton is not guaranteed a starting spot on the defensive line. That’s simply not how Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots do things. Knighton will be competing with Malcolm Brown, a first round pick in 2015, and veteran Alan Branch. Others competing for playing time are Chris Jones, Frank Kearse, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Dominique Easley, and Joe Vellano. Knighton should be able to beat those guys for reps.

Malcolm Brown [Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images]

It’ll be interesting to see how the New England Patriots will utilize Terrance Knighton. Bill Belichick doesn’t always do traditional formations, and Knighton is very versatile. With the Washington Redskins, Terrance not only played nose guard on first and second down, but he was also the interior pass rusher whenever defensive coordinator Joe Barry called for a nickel sub package. Generally, defensive coordinators in the NFL like to shift a defensive inside on passing down, but the 355-pound Knighton was able to get penetration pretty consistently.

Aside from playing in one of the most prestigious teams in the NFL, one of the appealing things about signing with the New England Patriots is the fact that Terrance Knighton gets to go home. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Knight also played football for Windsor High School in Connecticut. Terrance played college football for Temple University, which is in nearby Philadelphia.

New England Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch
Alan Branch [Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]

By signing a veteran like Terrance Knighton, who can step in right away and be productive, Bill Belichick reduces the need for the New England Patriots to spend a high pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Now, Belichick can wait until the later rounds and find someone that he can groom. The Patriots can now focus on adding even more weapons on offense for Tom Brady. Belichick traded with the Chicago Bears for Martellus Bennett, so New England now has two top-shelf tight ends.

With any other NFL team, the signing of Terrance Knighton would more than likely be overlooked. However, when Bill Belichick is involved, it becomes a big story. He has a knack for finding extremely productive people to add to the New England Patriots roster, which is a big reason why the team is constantly competing for a spot in the Super Bowl.

[Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images]