September 21, 2019

Redskins Continue to Beef Up on the Defensive Line

After Scot McCloughan reunited with former draft pick Ricky Jean-Francois and signed former Chicago Stephen Paea, the Redskins have added a third defensive linemen, Terrence Knighton. Knighton, also known as Pot Roast, signed a bargain of a deal at one-year, $4 million. Knighton, like Jean-Francois, has finished his sixth season in the NFL. After being drafted by the Jaguars, Knighton played the past two years for Denver.

Knighton has had a consistent NFL campaign with a career 12.5 sacks, 10 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Although, one might think there is too much repetition between the three free agency signings to start the 2015 NFL season, there cannot be enough quality linemen that have made a living shedding multiple blockers.

Knighton has mainly played nose tackle under Jack Del Rio’s 3-4 defensive scheme and could be in a solid role to split time at that position with his recruiter and friend Chris Baker. Along with the “prized” free agency addition last year of Jason Hatcher, the revamped defensive line looks poised to cause more havoc without blitzing next year. Moreover, the signing of Knighton might mean the Redskins will not resign Jarvis Jenkins, who is currently an unrestricted free agent after being drafted in the second round four years ago.

Although the Washington Redskins have many needs, they needed to start from the inside out with their lines of both sides of the ball. On the defensive side they have made vast improvements by getting rid of Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen while adding the younger and better bodies of Jean-Francois, Paea, and Knighton. Knighton might not be considered a three-down player, but smart moves likes these with McCloughan at the helm will help the Redskins regain respect in the league.

First Noticeable Addition of Washington Redskins 2015 Offseason comes on the Defensive Line

Ricky Jean-Francois (“Zhon fran-SWAH”) finished his sixth season in the National Football League as an Indianapolis Colt, but was released prior to free agency on Feb. 23. Three short days later it was reported that Jean-Francois had signed a deal with the Washington Redskins. Friday, it became official that Scot McCloughan had signed his former seventh-round draft pick from his days in San Francisco to a three-year deal worth up to $11.5 million (including incentives) and $4 million guaranteed.

Jean-Francois is coming off of his best statistical season with three sacks, six passes defended, 18 tackles, and 16 assists on tackles in a full 16 games played. In a defense that needed serious revamping by Jay Gruden, Joe Barry, and Scot McCloughan, this was the first of many moves to be made leading up to the start of the upcoming season which is six months away.

The signing of Jean-Francois led the Redskins to pull the trigger on a couple of holdovers, parting ways with both Barry Coefield and Stephen Bowen. Both were already 30 years old and today’s league is turning into a battle where those in their 20s are being able to outwork the elder veterans. The contract terminations cleared approximately $8.7 million in cap space.

Jean-Francois has a lot of playing time at defensive tackle and nose tackle. At 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds, it will be interesting to see if he is utilized at defensive end or nose tackle in Barry’s 3-4 scheme. Others on the team that will likely see time on the defensive line include Jason Hatcher, Jarvis Jenkins, and Chris Baker.

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