The Giants were somewhat hopeful that defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins would fall back into their laps this spring, but those hopes were dashed on Thursday when it was announced that Hankins had signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
New York reportedly had a standing four-year, $28 million deal on the table for Hankins, but the 25 year-old former Ohio State Buckeye was seeking a deal that would pay him closer to $10 million per year. He had few takers at that price, however. The Miami Dolphins were reported to have interest as were the Detroit Lions but no offers were floated his way. The Colts pulled the trigger after meeting with Hankins earlier this week.
Re-signing Hankins did not appear to be a high priority for the Giants this offseason, although they made overtures that they would like to bring him back. Those overtures came with monetary restrictions. No way were they going to pay Hankins $10 million per year after inking DT Damon Harrison, a Pro Bowler, to a five-year, $46.25 million contract last March and then retaining DE Jason Pierre-Paul with a deal worth over $60 million this year.
Hankins played all 16 games in 2016, recording 44 total tackles with three sacks. He played 765 of the Giants’ 1,110 defensive snaps (68.9%) and was an integral part of their run defense, which was fourth-best in the league surrendering just 88.6 yards per game.
The Giants currently do not have sufficient depth on the interior defensive line with only Jay Bromley and Robert Thomas the lone DTs behind Harrison, but the upcoming NFL Draft is very deep at the position. That would further explain their lukewarm interest in Hankins, their second round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
With the 23rd overall selection in the draft, the Giants may have a shot at Michigan State’s Malik McDowell, a 6’6”, 295 pound versatile player who can play all along the defensive line. They also could be eyeing several replacements in the mid-to-later rounds. Montravious Adams of Auburn, UCLA’s Eddie Vanderdoes and Dalvin Tomlinson of Alabama are three names that could pique their interest.
Hankins sent out a tweet on Thursday afternoon to thank the Giants and their fans…
— Johnathan Hankins (@BigTimeHank) April 13, 2017