Term: One year
Signing bonus: $250,000
Base salary: $900,000
Roster bonus: $500,000 (paid per game, $31,250 if active)
Workout bonus: $100,000
Salary-cap charge: $2.018 million
The total cash value of the deal is $1.75 million, and the $250,000 signing bonus is the lone guarantee. The cap charge of $2.018 million seems reasonable from a team perspective. Overall, these numbers come in lower than the initial expectation and reflect how there didn't seem to be a robust market for Knighton. However, there is financial upside in the deal for Knighton if he is healthy and performing at a high level, so in that sense, this pact has an earn-it-as-you-go type of feel to it. (There could still be more not-likely-to-be-earned incentives that create a chance for him to earn more.) Knighton projects to fill part of the void created with Akiem Hicks signing with the Bears in free agency (two years, $10 million), and the difference in contracts between Hicks and Knighton reflects how the Patriots went with a lower-budget option. The team could have retained reserve defensive tackle Sealver Siliga with a $1.6 million restricted free-agent tender to fill a similar type role, but the club's hope is that Knighton -- who takes up more of the salary cap than Siliga would have -- will be an upgrade at the hard-to-fill position.