The interior of the New York Giants’ defensive line took a big hit Thursday when it was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that tackle Johnathan Hankins signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
Hankins spent the first four years of his career with the Giants and became an anchor within the trenches.
As a sizeable presence used to stuff the run, Hankins recorded 43 total tackles with three sacks and a forced fumble last year. He was considered by many as one of the top free agents available this offseason.
His acquisition is huge for the Colts considering they ranked 25th in the league in rushing defense last season. Getting a run stopper like Hankins will only help improve on that ranking come 2017.
The writing was on the wall for Hankins’ impending departure from the Giants, though.
Last year, the team invested over $130 million in the defensive line alone with the signings of Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison.
With Hankins looking for a substantial deal of his own, it was unlikely the Giants were going to provide it.
Now they will rely on Harrison to carry the interior of the defensive line while looking for a more affordable option to replace Hankins. Look for Jay Bromley, Robert Thomas and Jordan Williams to compete for playing time over the next few months.