One of the best free agents remaining on the market still has an offer on the table from his former team, but now he’s taking visits elsewhere.
The Giants are still hoping to bring back their former second-round pick, but the 25-year-old is now making the rounds. Indianapolis missed out on the Dontari Poe sweepstakes and are looking to add a stalwart to their needy defensive interior. Hankins shined alongside fellow road-grader Damon Harrison in the revamped Giants defense last year, adding three more sacks to his career total. In the two years in which he started 16 games (2014 and 2016), he has registered 10 total sacks.
Hankins’ case has been one of the most bizarre this spring. Numerous reports have blamed his current unemployment on his agents, who may have misread the market for interior defensive tackle help. The Giants are also staunch negotiators at the position. Hankins will not be able to command a salary near that of Harrison’s and general manager Jerry Reese has let more talented tackles (Vikings lineman Linval Joseph) walk as well. In the leadup to a draft that many consider rich in defensive line talent, he has found himself between a rock and a hard place.
Despite the appearance of leverage, though, Hankins could do worse than Indianapolis. The team is starving for help along a line that is currently projected to start Margus Hunt, David Parry and Kendall Langford. On Day One, he would be the club’s best option against the run.
However, a return to the Giants could also be wise. Rarely does a player have that much protection alongisde him (Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon are two of the better run-stopping ends in football).
As Rapoport mentioned, the Giants have held out hope that Hankins will return home. Tuesday’s developments just made the situation more interesting.