There seems to be mutual interest between the New York Giants and Johnathan Hankins. Despite no agreement, a solution could be nearing.
When Jerry Reese began writing his offseason shopping list, keeping together the team’s most crucial unit was near the top of the list. The New York Giants possessed one of the league’s most imposing defensive fronts, but keeping all his men under contract was seen as no easy task.
When Jason Pierre-Paul was given a long term deal in addition to several other free agents, the likelihood of a return for defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins seemed unlikely. Though as the offseason continues to progress, bringing Hankins back is becoming more likely.
Hankins, who turns 25 near the end of this month, has been seeking a long term deal deal. After seeing teammate Pierre-Paul get an extension and Baltimore’s Brandon Williams become the league’s highest paid defensive tackle, it’s hard to blame him for wanting long term stability. Playing on a team with highly priced Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison could only lead the Ohio State product to believe he was next in line for an extension.
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Hankins has his asking price and the Giants have countered. If one thing is certain, both sides seem to have mutual interest in each other, but to which degree is still somewhat of an unknown.
Multiple reports have claimed Hankins was looking for a deal in the vicinity of what Damon Harrison received last season. Playing on such a deep defensive line, some teams may questions how good Hankins is own his own. Similarly, Dontari Poe signed a one year $8 million deal with Atlanta after seeing his his price tag also not met.
Patience within this stalemate could be running thin. The Giants want to address remaining team needs while many other clubs are finishing offseason spending. The longer Hankins waits, the less likely a lucrative contract remains on the open market. So, who blinks first?
1 of the top FAs — #Giants DT Jonathan Hankins — has tried for weeks to beat NYG's standing offer. Hasn't done it yet. They want an answer
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2017
Hankins may not get the long term deal he was looking for at this point in the offseason. However, at just 25 years of age next season, he’s still positioned very well to earn a hefty pay day in the near future.
Accepting a one year deal for Hankins makes sense on numerous levels. Given a market that is now much thinner with most clubs having completed their spending, a one year deal allows Hankins to position himself for a large contract next offseason. Returning to New York along with a star-studded cast could also allow Hankins to flourish.
Damon Harrison was a first team All Pro last season and is respected as one of the top interior linemen in the game. Olivier Vernon and JPP are often going to command double teams, especially in passing downs. This likely means Hankins will face many one on one match-ups while his comrades face multiple blockers. If he can win those match-ups and fill up the stat sheet, he’ll get the big check he’s looking for next Spring.
The Giants are in a position to win now and boast one of the league’s better defenses. A player coming from a winning club at a young age who has exhibited strong interior line play won’t go unnoticed. If Hankins wants to play with a contender and set up himself up for a big pay day, accepting a one year deal with the New York Giants addresses his short term concerns and sets himself up for a prosperous future.