Texans Should go After Terrance Knighton

Photo by Ron Chenoy, USA Today sports
Photo by Ron Chenoy, USA Today sports /

The Nose Tackle known as “Pot Roast” would be a huge help to the Texans defensive line. Literally.

After coming into the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2009 draft, Terrance Knighton has had an interesting career. He played four years in Jacksonville before moving on to Denver following the 2012 season, going to the Super Bowl in his first year with the Broncos. He then left after former Denver defensive coordinator and Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio left to become the head coach in Oakland, and many thought Knighton was sure to follow.

More from Toro Times

Instead he went to the nation’s capital and spent this past year with the Redskins to join his childhood friend Chris Baker along the Redskins defensive line. In his lone year in Washington they won their second NFC East title in four years, albeit with a lackluster 9-7 record before getting eliminated by the Packers in the wild card round. In seven years he has racked up 230 tackles and 14 sacks and has been durable, missing just four games.

But he could be a big signing for the Texans, as he has been told he will not be back in Washington. He will be just 30 years old starting next season compared to Vince Wilfork, who will turn 35 this November. If Wilfork is released, it will save Houston four million dollars. The Texans will not be seeking to release Wilfork, who can still play but the number of snaps he can play effectively has decreased. So if  they were to bring in Knighton there could be a rotation between the two or they could let Knighton be the undisputed #1 if Wilfork is released and let young guys like Christian Covington fill in at nose. Depth is scarce along the defensive line so it might be best to bring in Knighton and keep Wilfork for 2016 as a two man rotation while they look for a young defensive tackle to rotate with Knighton after Wilfork leaves following the 2016 season.

A 3 year deal would make sense for me, though Knighton is not going to come cheap. But with over $40 million to spend and perhaps none of it going to a free agent quarterback, this could be a good luxury purchase for the Texans. It will help even out a run defense that was inconsistent most of 2015 and help the transition after Wilfork leaves. It will also provide more size to an interior defensive line that could use it. Brandon Dunn is just 300 pounds and Devon Still is 310, but has been a 4-3 tackle his whole career. Covington is also listed as an interior lineman but is under 300 pounds. Perhaps with Jared Crick a free agent Covington’s best spot is at defensive end. Overall, Knighton makes a lot of sense for the Texans.