The Broncos have a number of free agent problems to tackle in the next month - Eric Decker, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Knowshon Moreno, and Robert Ayers, just to name a few - but one player who is under contract in 2014 may be adding his contract situation to the mix.
That player is standout defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, who signed a two-year deal with the Broncos in 2013. According to the report, Knighton and his reps believe he has outperformed his contract and seek a new deal.
Let's get one thing out of the way right off the bat: assuming the report is true, Pot Roast is right. He outperformed his two-year deal with the Broncos a year ago. Knighton made $1.75 million in 2013. For that, the Broncos got four sacks, 25 QB hurries, and a +24.1 grade from ProFootballFocus.com, the ninth best grade for a DT in the league. Knighton reportedly lost 30 lbs. at the Broncos' request before the season began, then stepped up and became a locker room leader. His engagement with the press and the fans was first-class. That's an extremely good return on Denver's investment.
Looking ahead, Knighton's 2014 salary of $2.75 million - a significant bump from 2013, for certain - still only ranks 24th in the league among defensive tackles. That ranking is before free agency begins and a number of other contracts find guys slotted potentially ahead of Knighton.
Still, there are a number of guys outperforming their contracts with the Broncos - most, like Knighton, set to become free agents in 2014 and 2015.
I don't have a strong opinion either way here. I'm fine if the Broncos keep Knighton on his current deal, and I'm fine if they extend him now, too. He's certainly earned it, but it's the reality of the NFL that players don't always get what they earned right away. With one more season like 2013, Knighton will certainly be hitting paydirt - either with the Broncos or someone else.
Terrance Knighton took to Twitter:
I don't know why people are mad at me. All I do is play football. The business part is controlled by my agent.— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) February 11, 2014
Bronco UP!!!!!!!! 🏇🏇🏇🏇— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) February 11, 2014