Johnathan Hankins sitting on the open market and not taking so much as a single free-agent visit grew increasingly odd as the first week of the new league year played out.
As things stand, it appears that some lofty contract demands are to blame for teams keeping their distance.
Hankins is seeking an annual average of over $10 million as part of any deal he signs this offseason, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports, citing multiple league sources.
Still just 24 years old, the former second-round pick was probably right to be setting his sights so high heading into free agency for the first time. Hankins had established himself as a stout interior run defender over four seasons with the New York Giants, also flashing some pass-rush ability with a career-best seven sacks in 2014.
But now that the once-stagnant defensive tackle market has begun to work itself out, it’s becoming clear that a deal in his desired range can be considered a long shot, at best.
Dontari Poe and Bennie Logan, two players of a similar style and caliber, were recently forced to settle for one-year, $8-million contracts in joining the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively. Hankins can likely expect to be in a similar range when he eventually signs, and there’s reason to believe his price tag would only be knocked down the longer he remains available.
Whether it’s re-upping with the Giants, or catching on elsewhere, such a prove-it deal would allow him to reaffirm his value before again testing the market next offseason.
Starting all 16 games for a New York defense that finished the year tied for third against the run, Hankins racked up 43 tackles to go with three sacks in 2016.
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