FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick was blunt in his explanation of why the New England Patriots decided to cut ties with veteran defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.
“I don’t have any comment on it,” Belichick said in his Monday news conference. “It just didn’t work out.”
Knighton’s release Monday morning was not the result of a lack of effort on the 30-year-old’s part, Belichick said, but rather the simple fact that other players had outperformed him.
“He came in, worked hard, lost weight, got in good condition, tried to do the things we asked him to do,” the Patriots coach said. “(There were) just other people ahead of him.”
Knighton struggled against the Chicago Bears in the Patriots’ second preseason game and did not play a single snap in the third, a 19-17 win over the Carolina Panthers on Friday. Projected as a potential key contributor on New England’s defensive line, Knighton instead tumbled down the depth chart as the likes of Anthony Johnson, Vincent Valentine and Markus Kuhn put forth strong performances in training camp and the preseason.
Knighton, who thanked Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft in a tweet Monday morning, told reporters after Friday’s game he “still (has) a lot of football left” in him.
The Patriots must trim their 90-man roster to 75 players by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, then must finalize their 53-man roster by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images