Earlier today, The Patriots signed the 29 year old Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. The listed 355 lber is a beast inside who will be playing for his fourth NFL in New England. He is a perfect scheme fit and he is a huge improvement for a team that struggled late in the season to stop the run. If you recall, the Patriots lost their first game in Denver because of their inability to stop the run late in the game. The Patriots lost on 15+ yard toss play in overtime.
The Pats were in the market for big versatile defensive tackle. They were in the market for Nick Fairley who eventually signed with New Orleans on a one year deal worth $3 million. Surprising when the Patriots signed Knighton to a inflated 1 year $4.5 million. Put some of that facts together and it is quite puzzling, since Knighton and Fairley are very similar players. Big guys who plug up the middle, effective at stopping the run. Fairley is 28 (same age), but earlier in his career he had success rushing the passer. It was one of his strengths in college.
Knighton is a great piece for the New England defense. If you were to insist and ask for a comparable player, then it is pretty obvious Vince Wilfork. Just a comparison, because Knighton plays the same way that big Vince did when in navy blue and silver. Should not expect Wilfork type numbers, at his best he could put up Wilfork numbers but who knows he had a somewhat production season this past year with the Washington Redskins and two very successful seasons in Denver. Its also a good contract solely because it is a 1 year deal who is about cross the threshold of the 30s which effects a lot of pros differently. They are not tied down to Knighton when the contracts of Dont'a Hightower, Malcom Butler, and Jamie Collins expire.
Just add that to the list of smart offseason moves the Patriots have made. Patriots are looking good heading into the draft, despite being without their first round pick.
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