Of course, the Broncos may try to prevent Knighton from reaching the open market, seeing as losing him would force them to look for a new nose tackle for Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense.
For what it’s worth, Renck suggests Cardinals free agent NT Dan Williams as someone Denver could consider if they lose Knighton.
The Raiders look like an obvious fit for Knighton now that they’ve hired former Broncos DC Jack Del Rio as their new head coach. On top of that, Oakland has plenty of cap space to work with and could easily price a team like the Broncos out of the market for Knighton.
Renck can’t see the Broncos matching an offer in the neighborhood of $30 million over five years.
As for the Lions, their entire offseason centers around DT Ndamukong Suh, which means going after a free agent like Knighton would be a contingency option at best.
Should Suh depart for a new opportunity and a huge contract, Detroit would have an obvious need at defensive tackle, as Nick Fairley is also in position to be an unrestricted free agent.
Knighton, 28, appeared in all 16 games and recorded 30 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and three pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 12 defensive tackle in the league out of 81 qualifying players.
We have Knighton listed as the No. 23 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.