With free agency set to open March 9, Terrance Knighton says he hasn’t had any discussions with the Redskins about a potential return in 2016.
“I haven’t got any hint that maybe they want me back or anything, to me personally,” Knighton told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. “I haven’t heard anything. That’s one thing I’m not going to stress about.”
“Obviously,” the nose tackle continued, “last time around I was hoping that something could get done with Denver, and was praying on that, and talking up [the Broncos] all the time whenever I talked to the media, because I felt in my heart that’s where I was going to be and my emotions got caught [up] into it. This time, around I understand it’s a business. [But] I’m not really understanding the whole [reason why] a guy like myself and what I bring to a team, and what I bring to the field, [is] bouncing around like this. But it will catch up with itself.”
Knighton, who signed a one-year, $4.45 million ‘prove it’ deal last March, started all but one regular season game for the Redskins—he was sidelined in New England due to cluster headaches—and finished with 29 tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks and seven quarterback pressures, according to ProFootballFocus.com. He emerged as a leader in the locker room and, after an uneven start to the year, played his best football in late November and December as the Redskins made a push for the playoffs.
His future in Washington, though, remains uncertain with the free agent market about to open. Knighton says he wonders if scheme fit has something to do with that uncertainty. He played about 38 percent of the Redskins’ snaps on defense, down from nearly 50-percent with the Broncos in 2014.
“It was definitely a change for me this year in Washington because it was a new defense,” Knighton said. “It was different for me. It was more of an attacking 3-4, whereas I’m usually occupying blocks and controlling the line of scrimmage. And it was more of an up-the-field defense. Maybe that’s where the disconnect is right now as far as bringing me back.”
“As the year went on, I got better, I got more familiar with the defense, I started dominating toward the end of the season when we were making our playoff run. I got comfortable,” he added. “As long as I’m in a defense that I feel like I can understand and grasp quickly—which I usually do—I can be successful in any defense.”
Knighton, who turns 30 in July, has started 96 of 108 games spread over seven NFL seasons with Jacksonville, Denver and Washington. If the Redskins do not re-sign him, they’ll need to draft a starting nose tackle or sign one in free agency.