The New York Giants wanted to keep unrestricted free agent DT Johnathan Hankins but there simply was not enough room under the salary cap.
Last week, the New York Giants lost one of the centerpieces to their defense when defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins signed a a three-year, $27 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Giants were hoping Hankins, who had no known offers up until that point, would fall back into their lap but the Colts saw value in the former Ohio State Buckeye and gobbled him up.
“No, I am never surprised about anything during free agency,” GM Jerry Reese said on Thursday when asked if he was surprised to lose Hankins. “Money talks and we are happy for Hank. We are big Hank fans around here and we wish him well.”
The Giants only have a tad over $8 million in cap space at the moment and want to keep that cushion to sign draft picks and undrafted free agents in the coming months. Signing Hankins would have been a luxury. Reese revealed the club’s plan to move on from his former 2013 second round pick.
“We think that, obviously, Snacks is a good player there. We have Bromley, we have Robert (Thomas), so we have a couple more guys that we expect to step up and help fill that void and obviously we will continue to look at free agency and we will look in the draft to see if we can add some depth to that position too.”
That doesn’t mean he won’t be missed. All-Pro safety Landon Collins, another second round selection who has started every game for Big Blue since arriving in 2015, was hoping the Giants could work something out.
“It was big,” said Collins. “It was a tough loss. We lost a brother. We wanted him back and tried to make something happen. Ends didn’t meet.”
DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who just signed a $62 million extension of his own, has been round long enough to understand that its just the nature of the business.
“It’s not disappointing. It’s a business. Just like you report and tell stories,” JPP told the beat pool. “If you don’t have a good report nobody is going to listen to you, right? It’s a business. You have to understand that.”
He also provided som foreshadowing of how he sees the Giants moving on.
“It’s next man up,” he said. “Hank was a good player. I understand his situation. He did what’s best for his family. I had a brief talk with him. Hank’s a good guy. I watched to see him grow here as a player and as a man. I had some great times with him. He moved on. Next man has to step up. Jay (Bromley) and Robert (Thomas), even the other guys they bring in. They have to step up and fill that void. We’ll do the best we can to help them out, teach them to get after the quarterback and stop the run. We’ll be alright.”
The Giants are likely to add a DT or two come next week in the draft and the UDFA period that begins directly after Mr. Irrevelant is chosen in Round Seven.