It appears the Giants have a legitimate shot to re-sign free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and if it happens, it’s unlikely he’ll have to settle for a “prove-it” deal. The Giants have a multiyear offer on the table for Hankins, reports the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones, who adds that the proposal “stacks up well in this free agent market.” New York has had a “solid offer” on the table “for weeks,” though Hankins is holding out for a far richer contract, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com adds (Twitter links).
While it’s obvious Hankins’ goal is a sizable payday, it could be difficult to come by for a player who has only drawn reported interest from one other team, the Dolphins. And unfortunately for Hankins, Miami doesn’t seem particularly gung-ho on the 25-year-old, as it’s only searching for a rotational defensive tackle to play with Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. On the other hand, Hankins has been a full-time starter in New York since 2014, his second season in the league.
By retaining Hankins, which Jones expects to happen, the Giants would return all 11 defensive starters from last year, she notes. That would be an auspicious development for a team whose defense topped the NFC in DVOA and finished second overall in the league, trailing only the Broncos’ all-world stop unit.
It’s debatable how much of an impact Hankins made last year, as he didn’t post mind-blowing traditional stats (43 tackles and three sacks), nor did he impress Pro Football Focus or some around the NFL. Nevertheless, Giants owner John Mara made it clear Sunday that the team would like to re-sign Hankins if it’s financially feasible.
“We certainly want him back but it’s got to make sense for us,” Mara told Tom Rock of Newsday. “He’s an important part of our team, he’s a great kid, he’s young and he fits in very well with us. So we hope to have him back.”
The Giants have upward of $12MM in spending space remaining, Raanan reported Thursday, which puts them toward the bottom of the league.
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