The New York Giants have officially lost defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins to free agency. Hankins has signed a multi-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
The New York Giants and Johnathan Hankins have been engaged in a free agency saga that went on longer than anyone expected it to. Hankins seemed to be demanding a contract that the Giants simply weren’t willing to agree to.
After months of deliberation, Hankins has made a final decision about where he’ll be spending the next three years of his NFL career.
A number of individuals spoke out in favor of New York re-signing Hankins, including defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Whether unfortunately or otherwise, those calls failed to influence his decision in a strong enough manner to bring him back.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Indianapolis Colts have signed Hankins to a three-year deal worth $30 million.
That’s an average of $10 million per season, with $14.5 million guaranteed overall.
Hankins, 25, finished the 2016 season with 43 tackles, 3.0 sacks, one forced fumble, seven stuffs, and a blocked kick. The blocked field goal was returned by Janoris Jenkins for a 65-yard touchdown that played a direct result in New York winning its second game of the year.
Hankins was rated as the No. 72 interior defender in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, although he excelled in run defense during his Giants tenure.
Though he’s yet to rediscover his dominant pass rushing form, it’s also worth noting that Hankins recorded 7.0 sacks in 2014.
With Hankins now out of the picture, the Giants will need to find a defensive tackle who can replace him. Damon Harrison is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, but New York runs a 4-3 base that requires a second interior defender.
With Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Olivier Vernon all locked up long-term, general manager Jerry Reese could acquire a low-cost option, such as Jared Odrick, or build through the draft.
Regardless of what the New York Giants attempt to do, the short-term response is simple: best of luck in Indianapolis, Hank. Thank you for your four years with Big Blue!