FOXBOROUGH — Terrance Knighton beat everyone to the punch Monday morning, confirming via Twitter that his time with the Patriots was over.
“Well it’s been real New England. The road continues,” was the message from the man affectionately known as Pot Roast, a prolific tweeter on many subjects.
His release was hardly a shocking development as the big defensive tackle (listed at 6 feet 3 inches, 355 pounds) didn’t play until late against the Bears two weeks ago, and didn’t play at all against the Panthers Friday.
Also on Monday, center Bryan Stork was cut by the team.
The writing was clearly on the wall for Knighton, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal to join the Patriots, the team the 30-year-old Connecticut native grew up cheering for.
“It just didn’t work out,’’ said coach Bill Belichick. “He came in, worked hard, lost some weight, got in good condition. He tried to do the things that we asked him to do, but there are just other people ahead of him.’’
Almost an hour after his original 8:36 a.m. tweet, Knighton sent off another that read: “Great respect for Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. Learned some things from my time here.’’
Well it's been real New England. The road continues— Terrance Knighton (@MisterRoast98) August 29, 2016
Great respect for Robert Kraft and bill Belichick. Learned some things from my time here.— Terrance Knighton (@MisterRoast98) August 29, 2016
The Patriots have excellent depth at defensive tackle, including projected starters Malcom Brown and Alan Branch. Rookie Vincent Valentine has made great strides through camp and plays with impressive power, and free agent signee Markus Kuhn has also had a strong summer.
Additionally, Anthony Johnson has flashed late in camp and in the exhibition games with his combination of quickness and closing speed.
Rookie Woodrow Hamilton and Joe Vellano had also moved ahead of Knighton, an eight-year veteran, and played a decent amount of second-half snaps in Carolina as Knighton stood on the sideline.
“I still got a lot of ball left in me, so, it is what it is,’’ Knighton said after the Panthers game, when he confirmed that he had no health issues. “I have faith in my abilities.
“It is disappointing. I’ve played a lot of ball in this league. Whatever happens, happens. If I’m here, I’m here. If I’m not, I’m not.’’
Branch was sorry to see his teammate go but understands the business of football.
“The thing about this game is it’s a brutal game and you know, the way things are in this league, it’s cutthroat,’’ he said. “That guy is a great player. Terrance is awesome. I’m sure he’s going to find a home somewhere else soon and play well.’’