One of the League’s most dynamic interior defensive duos is no longer, thanks to lineman Johnathan Hankins foregoing a deal with the New York Giants. Instead, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to sign the former Buckeye to a 3-year deal worth $30 million, according to NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Hankins was among the top free agents at his position heading into the offseason, but once the Giants used the franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul, the writing was on the wall. It was reported that his asking price was ultimately what kept him on the market for so long; as well as team’s trending toward short one-year, prove-it deals and Hankins looking for a longterm solution.
Having just finished his fourth year in the league, the defensive lineman had a career-best season, seeing 764 total snaps. The 2016 regular season also marked a big return for Hankins, who spent half of the 2015 season on injured reserve. He finished the year with 43 combined total tackles, three sacks, seven stuffs, one forced fumble, and his first career blocked kick. In addition to his impressive regular season, he had a big solo sack against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers during the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Giants defense was tough on rushers last season in large part to Hankins and Damon Harrison on the interior of the defensive line. Hankins may not be the most elusive pass-rusher, standing at 6’2, 320 pounds, but his ability to fill a gap in the run lane makes up for it. At only 24 years old, there is a lot of production left in the Buckeye, and he’ll continue to aggravate offenses for years to come.