Johnathan Hankins

Seven Raiders Defenders To Come Off Reserve/COVID-19 List

While the Raiders practiced without several defenders this week, they are at least on track to have those players in uniform Sunday night against the Chiefs.

After continuing to test negative for COVID-19, seven Raider defenders will come off the team’s coronavirus list Saturday, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com tweets. Johnathan Abram, Johnathan Hankins, Arden Key, Maliek Collins, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive lineman Kendal Vickers will be activated Saturday. David Irving is set to come off Las Vegas’ practice squad COVID-19 list, per Gutierrez.

The Raiders placed these seven players on their reserve/COVID list earlier this week, preventing each from practicing. They joined Lamarcus Joyner in that regard; the Raiders activated Joyner on Friday. This octet profiled as close contacts of Clelin Ferrell, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week. Abram, Hankins, Key, Collins, Johnson and Vickers will be eligible to play against the Chiefs if their most recent COVID tests come back negative Sunday morning. Irving must be activated off the Raiders’ practice squad to suit up in Week 11.

Unlike Week 7’s Raiders-Buccaneers game — which was moved out of the Sunday-night window after Las Vegas’ first-string offensive line did not practice all week because of Trent Brown‘s positive COVID test — the NFL did not switch this week’s Raiders-Chiefs rematch out of the Sunday-night time slot.

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Raiders To Place Several Defenders On Reserve/COVID-19 List

4:09pm: The following Raiders landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list: Johnathan Abram, Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins, Arden Key, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive tackle Kendal Vickers. While this comes in under the rumored eight-starter number, five Raiders defensive first-stringers are currently sidelined — when Ferrell and Joyner are included.

3:06pm: The Raiders already prepared for a game without their first-string offensive line. They will face another difficult task ahead of their Week 11 rematch with the Chiefs.

At least eight members of the Raiders’ starting defense will land on their reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Some of Las Vegas’ non-starter contributors on defense will also surface on the COVID list soon.

These players qualify as high-risk close contacts, and while Rapoport and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero note they are not ruled out of Sunday night’s game (Twitter link), this certainly will bring another challenge for a team accustomed to dealing with them on the coronavirus front.

This news comes after the Raiders placed Clelin Ferrell and Lamarcus Joyner on their coronavirus list. The former tested positive for COVID-19, Rapoport tweets. With two starters already on the list — and Ferrell set to miss the team’s Week 11 game — Wednesday’s news would cover almost every other starting defender. The latest slew of players set to appear on Vegas’ COVID list are indeed close Ferrell contacts, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets.

Players who land on the virus list must isolate for five days. That timetable starts not at the point they land on the list but dates back to the individuals’ last contact with someone who contracted the virus. The Raiders are currently down right tackle Trent Brown due to COVID-19 and have lost a 2021 draft choice — and more than $1MM in total this season — because of failure to comply with the NFL’s COVID protocols.

Ahead of their Week 7 game against the Buccaneers, the Raiders practiced without Brown and the rest of their starting offensive line because of the group qualifying as high-risk close contacts of the mammoth tackle. The rest of the Raiders’ O-line returned to face the Bucs, which was moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon. With more Raiders out of practice because of the virus a month later, it would not be surprising if the NFL removes this game from the Sunday-night time slot as well to create flexibility in the event a postponement is necessary.

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Raiders Rework Johnathan Hankins’ Deal

The Raiders converted the $1.75MM roster bonus due to defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins this offseason into a signing bonus, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The adjustment prorates his bonus over the next two years and indicates that he’ll be a part of the team’s plans for 2020 and beyond. 

Hankins has turned in a solid 2019 with starts in all 15 of his games for the Raiders. With one game to go, he’s got 48 tackles and one sack on his stat sheet, including 30 solo tackles – tying him for 21st among all NFL interior defensive linemen.

Hankins joined the Raiders on a two-year, $8.5MM deal prior to the 2019 season. He’s slated to earn a $3.75MM base salary next year before reaching the open market, but the Raiders won’t let him get away if he keeps up the good work. Hankins, 28 in March, could be in line for an extension this offseason.

Before that, Hankins will round out the 2019 regular season in a Week 17 matchup against the Broncos. Hankins & Co. will be playing for more than pride – with a win, and lots of luck elsewhere, they could sneak into the playoffs.

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Raiders To Re-Sign DT Johnathan Hankins

This will not win the Raiders’ weekend news cycle, but Johnathan Hankins agreed to terms to stay in the Bay Area. Hankins will stay with the Raiders on a two-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Hankins was scheduled to be a free agent for the third time in three offseasons, and his most recent stay on the market was extensive. Following a release from the Colts after one season, Hankins did not agree to terms elsewhere until September.

In 2017, he lingered in free agency after the first wave but signed a $9MM-AAV Colts deal. He will eschew another stay on the market.

Oakland initially inked Hankins to a one-year pact after Week 1 of last season. The parties will now work together again in 2019, with Hankins likely in line to stay a first-unit player under Paul Guenther. The second-year Oakland DC wanted the mammoth lineman back, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (on Twitter).

Hankins started 14 games for the Raiders last season, doing so following his 2017 work as a Colts starter and three-year run as a Giants first-stringer. Despite going into his seventh season, Hankins is only set to turn 27 this offseason. He graded out as one of the league’s best interior defenders as a Colt, and although Pro Football Focus did not view his 2018 work with the Raiders in the same light (No. 76 out of 112 full-time interior defenders), the Raiders will use some of their extensive cap space to retain him.

The former second-round pick will now have a full offseason to work in Guenther’s system, a 4-3 look like he played with the Giants, this year.

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AFC Notes: Jets, Johnson, Patriots, Michel, Cannon Raiders, Hankins

When Jets owner Woody Johnson accepted the role as ambassador to the U.K., he left the team under the leadership of his brother Christopher. Given the relative success and cultural improvements the organization has seen under Christopher’s watch, there’s been a lot of speculation about what will happen when Woody returns from his political appointment.

Christopher himself is being quite open about the fact that he wants to stay on with the Jets, saying “no question, I’m hoping to have a larger role” even after his brother returns according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). He added that he thinks Woody will be receptive to it, saying “I think he’d welcome that. I know that he would. I think that I have a new perspective at this point that would be valuable for the franchise.” Whatever happens, it’ll be interesting to watch it unfold as Christopher is reportedly well liked by the players.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • It looks like Sony Michel could be making his NFL debut this week. The first round pick of the Patriots missed most of the offseason and Week 1 due to a knee ailment, but has “made a lot of progress this week” and “the progress has been encouraging” for his Week 1 prospects according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Speaking of Patriots injuries, starting left tackle Marcus Cannon is looking unlikely to play and the team has “prepared LaAdrian Waddle this week to start” according to Howe (Twitter link). It’d be a big blow to the Patriots’ offensive line against Jacksonville’s dominant defensive front.
  • The details are in for the Raiders’ two recent defensive tackle signings. Johnathan Hankins will get $2MM for the season and Clinton McDonald will get $1.75MM according to Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). Pelissero notes that almost every other recent veteran signing has been for the veterans minimum.

Johnathan Hankins Signs With Raiders

It turns out this will be a two-defensive tackle-addition day for the Raiders. Shortly after Clinton McDonald became a Raider, Johnathan Hankins has agreed to do so as well.

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.

DT Johnathan Hankins To Visit Raiders

Johnathan Hankins‘ longer than expected free agency could finally be drawing to a close. The veteran defensive tackle will visit the Raiders today, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link).

Schefter notes that the team “want[s] to sign him”, so it sounds like there’s a good chance this happens. Hankins signed a three-year $27MM deal with the Colts before the 2017 season, and despite high Pro Football Focus grades, was let go this past March after just one year.

He was expected to be hotly pursued after his release, but much of a market never materialized. He went on a few visits, most recently with the Chargers, but never signed a deal. It’s possible that he’s been holding out for better offers and simply never received the type of money he was looking for, so it will be interesting to see what the terms of his deal are with the Raiders, assuming he signs in Oakland.

Hankins, who’s still only 26, came into the league as a second round pick of the Giants in 2013. He had seven sacks in 2014 but is mostly a run-stuffing defensive tackle. The Raiders’ defensive front was a major weakness in their Week 1 loss to the Rams, so it makes since why they’re looking to bring in Hankins.

Chargers Met With Johnathan Hankins

Although Johnathan Hankins is only 26 and has been an NFL starter for the past four seasons, he’s without a team less than two weeks before most franchises’ 2018 seasons begin. But he’s confident he’ll find a home soon, and another suitor emerged recently.

It’s not certain when this visit occurred, but it was revealed during an interview with Brady Quinn and A.J. Hawk on Sirius XM Radio Hankins met with the Chargers this offseason. The former Giants and Colts interior defender added he’s had discussions with teams and is trying to determine the best landing spot.

I believe I’ll be with a team pretty soon,” Hankins said during the interview. “I’ve just been really talking to teams and trying to figure out what would be the best fit. Just taking my time with things, and I feel like I’ll be with at team very soon, before the season gets started.”

The Colts released Hankins in mid-March. He since met with the Jets in April and worked out for the Browns earlier this month, but no deals materialized. The Chargers will play the first four games without Corey Liuget due to a suspension, and although they did add defensive tackle Justin Jones in the third round, Hankins would supply depth. He graded as a top-20 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus, last season and was productive with the Giants prior to initially hitting free agency.

It’s likely Hankins will have to settle for a one-year deal at a lower-than-expected rate, similar to the some of this year’s top free agent safeties who mysteriously languished unattached for months. But he remains one of the best available players heading into the season.

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Browns To Work Out Johnathan Hankins

The Browns will work out defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins on Wednesday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. This marks Hankins’ first known meeting with a club since April. 

[RELATED: Free Agent Stock Watch: Johnathan Hankins]

Last year, Hankins was among the league’s most sought-after free agent defensive tackles. It’s not clear why his market has dragged this year, but it’s possible that his camp has been asking for significantly more money than what he has been offered thus far. After all, that’s what happened last year. In 2017, Hankins’ camp told teams that he was looking for $15MM per year. Soon after, the asking price was reduced to a more reasonable $10MM per season, and he eventually accepted a $9MM/year pact from the Colts.

Two of the Browns’ defensive tackles – Trevon Coley and Caleb Brantley – are dealing with ankle injuries, so Hankins could provide the club with a healthy alternative. If signed, Hankins would almost certainly start in the team’s 4-3 scheme. He played in a 3-4 setup with the Colts last year, but Hankins had only worked out of a 4-3 scheme prior to joining Indianapolis.

Hankins didn’t offer much against the pass in 2017, but he was exceptional against the run. In fact, only Damon Harrison and Ndamukong Suh ranked better against ball carriers, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Free Agent Stock Watch: Johnathan Hankins

Last year, Johnathan Hankins was among the league’s most sought-after free agent defensive tackles. In July 2018, Hankins is without an NFL home. 

Hankins’ market dragged a bit last year due to his asking price, but he settled for less in April when he signed a three-year, $27MM deal with the Colts. In March of this year, the Colts surprised many by terminating his contract.

Hankins finished out the year as Pro Football Focus’ No. 20 ranked interior defender and the Colts had – and still have – an abundance of cap room. The Colts’ change from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 setup likely played a part in their decision, but Hankins had only worked out of a 4-3 scheme prior to joining Indianapolis. Hankins did not offer much against the pass in 2017, but he was exceptional against the run, which is the primary goal of any defensive tackle.

Since his release, Hankins has met with the Redskins and Jets, but did not sign with either club. So, what gives?

We haven’t heard much on Hankins in recent weeks, but it stands to reason that his asking price is keeping him from landing a deal. In 2017, Hankins’ camp told teams that he was looking for $15MM per year. Soon after, the asking price was reduced to a more reasonable $10MM per season, and he eventually accepted a $9MM/year pact from the Colts.

After turning in a solid season – nearly the best of his career, according to PFF – Hankins may be unwilling to take anything less than what he received from the Colts. It’s the only logical explanation for one of the league’s best run-stuffing DTs being left in limbo.

That position may seem foolish since many teams have already blown their wad in the first and second waves of free agency, but there are still plenty of dollars available, particularly when it comes to his potential suitors. The Jets, who might not want to bank on 32-year-old Steve McLendon in the middle, will still have about $14MM in cap room after they sign top draft pick Sam Darnold. The Packers, who might not have complete confidence in Kenny Clark taking the next step in 2018, have nearly $11MM in space after inking their entire draft class. The Cowboys, who will start the year without David Irving, have nearly $15MM to work with.

Between now and the start of the year, it’s entirely possible that a team could open up the checkbook to meet Hankins’ demands. In addition to the aforementioned clubs, there are still 16 teams with eight figures in cap room. Beggars can’t be choosers at this stage of the summer, but all it takes is one GM to cave.

Alternatively, Hankins may wind up taking his salary demands down a notch or two, which would greatly open up his possibilities. The Lions, for example, have just $9MM in space, but they may want to consider Hankins to beef up their line, even after signing Sylvester Williams in March.

If the market doesn’t meet his demands, Hankins may be willing to settle for a one-year platform contract in the $7MM range to reestablish his value. If quality defenders like Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, Jadeveon Clowney, and Geno Atkins are taken off of the 2019 free agent list with extensions, Hankins could be on the path to riches next spring.

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