Terrance Knighton contract: Broncos DT thinks he's outplayed his deal

Tom Pennington

The Denver Broncos have some decisions to make regarding pending free agents, but now will have to worry about Terrance Knighton's contract as well.

Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is hoping for a new contract from the team at some point this offseason, according to Brandon Krisztal of the Denver Post. More specifically, Knighton reportedly feels that he's outperformed his contract and is seeking a new deal.

Knighton signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Broncos last offseason, and gave them a really stellar season in 2013. Knighton was one of the best run stoppers in the league, and on top of that was no slouch at rushing the passer. He finished the season with f4.0 sacks, 25 quarterback hurries and an extremely positive grade from Pro Football Focus, as noted by Mile High Report.

Not only was he excellent on the field, he was a team leader off it and clearly earned the $1.75 million he was paid in 2013. With a salary of $2.75 million in 2014 -- not an insignificant pay raise, mind you -- he'll still be one of the biggest steals in the league.

Unfortunately, the Broncos don't have a ton of cap space with which to work. They're projected to be around $12.4 million under the salary cap for 2014, but they also have 16 pending unrestricted free agents, seven of which are starters. In fact, there are multiple players who have arguably outperformed their contracts to this point.

That list includes wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno, integral to Denver's success and record-setting offense this past season. There's also Shaun Phillips and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. All four of those listed will command top dollar, and if Denver hopes to keep any of them, they'll have to be very careful with what they do with Knighton.

One has to wonder if Knighton would be OK with a contract extension and not just a re-working of his current deal. Denver would need to find some way to guarantee him money later in his contract, but will endeavor to keep his 2014 number down, though that is all speculation based on two things: that Knighton will go for that kind of deal and that the Broncos are even willing to consider it.

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