As everybody saw this year in free agency, the Denver Broncos can’t pay every single one of their own free agents.
There are just some guys that are more important than others.
Both Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas are going into the final years of their deals. They should get contract extensions done and get them done soon. Demaryius Thomas is a star and Julius Thomas is on the verge of stardom.
Those two guys will get their money.
And then there is the big man in the middle, one Terrance Knighton.
Knighton still has a deal with the Broncos. Early in free agency the defensive tackle said he want to re-work his deal after a big first season in Denver. In was understandable that Knighton wanted more money, the man they call “Pot Roast” burst onto the scene as one of the better players on the Broncos defense.
But Knighton changed his tune a bit over the weekend. He wants to be a part of the Broncos and is keeping his eye on the market for defensive tackles.
“I’m definitely going to honor the contract,” Knighton told the Denver Post. “I want to get something done and I’d like to get something done here. I don’t want to bounce around. But I’m at the point now where once the season starts, I’m just strictly football.”
That statement says a lot of things. Knighton likes Denver and doesn’t want to cause any trouble. He is also all about football but he still wants his money. No one can blame him for that.
That is why the Broncos need to work with Knighton on a new deal. Denver is in no position at the moment to throw a huge deal at the defensive tackle like other teams. Players like Paul Soliai, Earl Mitchell and Linval Joseph got big deals in free agency. None of those players had the impact or stats of Knighton. The three previous players are getting paid anywhere from $9 to $11 million a year. Knighton is seeing $2.5 million.
Knighton is a curious case though. This is the the only season he really has shown this kind of play. He was benched in Jacksonville for poor play. Also early in training camp with the Broncos he looked slow and out of shape. There were rumors he could get cut after the first two preseason games.
So Knighton is a mystery at times. Is he the player he was late in the season with the Broncos when he was making clutch sacks of Tom Brady in the AFC title game? Or is he the player who got benched and has been called lazy?
The Broncos are, of course, hoping he the player from late last season.
So, how can the Broncos front office keep the big man happy? They should engage him in some contract talks. General manager John Elway needs to let Knighton know he is wanted in Denver and they can try and get something done.
Knighton may not get his big deal right now but down the road it may happen. If he keeps producing, the Broncos will have no choice.
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