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Free Agency Outlook: Defensive Tackles

Posted Mar 1, 2016

With free agency set to begin in March,'s Stephen Czarda previews the 2016 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the defensive tackles.

With free agency set to begin in March,'s Stephen Czarda previews the 2016 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the defensive tackles.

The Washington Redskins may ultimately re-sign Terrance Knighton after he completed a one-year contract for the 2015 season, but if they don’t, there are several other veteran options they could go with, too, for the interior of their defensive line.

“I feel like I can contribute to a team,” Knighton said during exit interviews following the Redskins’ postseason loss in January. “A lot of people look at the numbers, but I’ve been a 32-tackle, two- or three-sack guy my whole career, so hopefully someone else still needs a run stuffer.”

Knighton finished the season with 30 tackles (five for loss) along with six quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks in 15 games.

While some of the following free agents may not fit the nose tackle mold in a defensive scheme, here are the defensive tackles set to become free agents via

--Red Bryant, Arizona Cardinals
--Barry Cofield, New York Giants
--Jermelle Cudjo, Detroit Lions
--Kenrick Ellis, Minnesota Vikings
--Nick Fairley, Los Angeles Rams
--Clifton Geathers, Pittsburgh Steelers
--Damon Harrison, New York Jets
--Sammie Lee Hill, Tennessee Titans
--Cullen Jenkins, New York Giants
--Terrance Knighton, Washington Redskins
--Markus Kuhn, New York Giants
--Kyle Love, Carolina Panthers
--Tony McDaniel, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
--Steve McLendon, Pittsburgh Steelers
--Brandon Mebane, Seattle Seahawks
--Henry Melton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
--Haloti Ngata, Detroit Lions
--B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers
--Ahtyba Rubin, Seattle Seahawks
--Pat Sims, Cincinnati Bengals
--Devon Still, Houston Texans
--Brandon Thompson, Cincinnati Bengals
--Tyrunn Walker, Detroit Lions
--Ian Williams, San Francisco 49ers
--Kevin Williams, New Orleans Saints
--Al Woods, Tennessee Titans

Raji has been the Packers’ starting nose tackle since 2010, as the Boston College product has started at least 14 games in five of the last six seasons.

In total, the 6-foot-2, 337 pounder has accumulated 151 tackles with 11 sacks and 10 passes defensed during his eight-year career.

Ngata, meanwhile, has played nose tackle before when asked to.

After spending a decade with the Ravens, Ngata was traded to the Lions last season. In 14 games in Detroit, the Oregon product recorded 24 tackles with three passes defensed and 2.5 sacks.

Cofield and Geathers both have previous ties to the Redskins, as they were on the roster during the 2014 season.

Returning to the Giants last season for three games, Cofield spent the 2011-2014 seasons with the Redskins after signing as a free agent in Washington in 2011.




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