Johnathan Hankins will not be back with the New York Giants.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 25-year-old free agent defensive lineman signed a three-year, $30 million deal to join the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Hankins the deal includes $15.9 million in guaranteed money.
Hankins took to Twitter to thank the Giants and their fans.
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“I want to thank the Giants organization for giving me an opportunity to play the game I love. Especially, to the Mara and Tisch families for welcoming me and supporting me for the last four years. Thank you to my teammates for going to battle every game with me. I appreciate everything this organization has given me and my family. Thank you to all the fans. I will never forget Big Blue Nation.”
Hankins played collegiately at Ohio State. He was First-team All-Big Ten and a First-team All American in his 2012 senior season. The Giants drafted him in the second round (49th overall) in 2013.
Hankins had 140 combined tackles, 10 sacks, four passes defended, and three forced fumbles in his four seasons with the Giants. The Giants had a four-year. $28 million deal on the table before Hankins entered free agency.
Hankins is the only member of the Giants’ defensive line that will not return in 2017. It remains to be seen if Hankins will turn into the second coming of Linval Joseph. Joseph was a 2010 second-round pick who played out his rookie contract before signing with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. Joseph was a Pro Bowl selection in 2016.
The Giants’ defensive line will not disintegrate now that Hankins is headed for Indy. There is a question on who will fill the hole made by Hankins’ departure and how the team will address it.
Jay Bromley and Robert Thomas are already on the roster. The team is reportedly interested in free agent Jared Odrick, who spent the last two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Odrick, a 2010 first-round pick (28th overall) of the Miami Dolphins, has 23 career sacks. He has played defensive tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker in his seven NFL seasons.
The Giants didn’t draft a defensive lineman last season. Hankins’ departure makes certain that the team will draft one this year.
Among the collegiate players the Giants will take a look at are: Caleb Brantley (Florida), Trayvon Hester (Toledo), Jaleel Johnson (Iowa), Malik McDowell (Michigan State), Larry Ogunjobi (Charlotte), Dalvin Tomlinson (Alabama), Carlos Watkins (Clemson), and Chris Wormley (Michigan).