Oakland will add Hankins on a one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). This ends Hankins’ oddly lengthy stay in free agency.
The 26-year-old defensive tackle spent last season with the Colts and delivered a strong season. However, the rebuilding team cut him after only one season. He then remained a free agent for six months. Hankins has been a starter for four seasons and entered the 2017 free agency market as one of the top defenders available. He entered Wednesday as a top-tier UFA, despite remaining on the market in September.
The Raiders are dealing with injuries to Justin Ellis and P.J. Hall, the former looking set to miss games because of a foot injury. Hankins and McDonald will at worst add depth, with the former likely set to push for a starting job. The former Giants second-round pick started for Big Blue from 2014-16, and after a season in Indianapolis’ 3-4 defense, he’ll return to a role as a 4-3 defensive lineman.
Hankins toured the AFC extensively this offseason, meeting with the Jets, Browns and Chargers before trekking to Oakland on Wednesday. He said he’d been talking to teams about fits during the summer; it’s possible the Raiders were one of them, even though they weren’t mentioned as a suitor. The Gruden 2.0-era Silver and Black have signed numerous free agents, and this is one of the highest-profile gets.