The Indianapolis Colts have agreed to terms with free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, the team announced Thursday.
The Colts have not released the details of Hankins’ new contract, but the former Giants defensive lineman is expected to be signing a three-year, $30 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former Giants’ DT Johnathan Hankins, the top-rated available free agent, is signing a 3-year, $30M deal with Colts, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2017
“Johnathan is a young, productive and disruptive defensive lineman,” Colts first-year general manager Chris Ballard said in a team release, via Indianapolis’ team website. “He possesses a wealth of experience and brings leadership to our team.”
The 2013 second-round pick out of Ohio State had started all 16 games for the Giants in 2016, and reportedly had received a four-year, $28 million offer from Big Blue to remain in New York, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.
Hankins, who was considered one of the top overall unrestricted free agents to hit the market in 2017, now joins a Colts franchise that is looking to rebuild a defense that ranked 30th in terms of yards allowed this past season. The 25-year-old interior defensive lineman has established himself as an elite run defender and has already amassed 140 tackles, 10 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, and four passes defended through his first four seasons in the league.
— Johnathan Hankins (@BigTimeHank) April 13, 2017
Since taking over the general manager position in Indianapolis, Ballard has made it clear that rebuilding the defense and protecting quarterback Andrew Luck are the top two priorities. The Colts new GM has clearly bolstered Indianapolis’ defense in free agency with the additions of pass rushers Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, and John Simon, and now surely has his attention squarely focused on the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
The Colts still have needs along the offensive line and will look to continue to bolster their defensive roster at the end of the month, but likely feel they got a steal in Hankins, as he has the potential to be a cornerstone player at nose tackle in their 3-4 base defense.