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Optimism Among Giants’ Players That Johnathan Hankins Could Return

According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, free agent DT Johnathan Hankins is still holding out for a long-term contract that would pay him a high-level salary for his position.

Raanan adds that the market has made it clear that NFL teams don’t value him this much and optimism has increased over the past week among Giants players that Hankins will return to the Giants at some point.

Earlier in the week, Raanan mentioned that “every day that Johnathan Hankins remains unsigned, the odds increase that he returns to the Giants.” Raanan puts the odds of Hankins re-signing with the Giants at around “50-50 a few days ago.

New York has reportedly shown interest in retaining Hankins and the market clearly has not played out as he had hoped. Another positive development for the Giants is the fact that they recently picked up a good amount of cap space by locking up DE Jason Pierre-Paul to a long-term contract.

According to Raanan, it’s possible that the Giants’ previous offer to Hankins — that was declined — could still be on the table.

At this point, a return to the Giants on a one-year contract could make the most sense for Hankins, as it would give him another opportunity to be part of a potentially dominant defensive front before hitting the open market again in 2018.

 

Dontari Poe and Bennie Logan both agreed to one-year deals at lower salaries, so it would be tough for a team to justify paying Hankins this much money based on how things have played out over the past few weeks.

Hankins, 24, is a former second-round pick of the Giants back in 2013. He played out the final year of his four-year, $4.03 million rookie contract that included a $1.311 million signing bonus and is now testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

In  2016, Hankins appeared in all 16 games and recorded 44 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble for the Giants. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 72 interior defender out of 127 qualifying players.

We have him featured in our Top 50 Available Free Agents list.