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Johnathan Hankins and the disappearing defensive tackle market

Big Hank still looking for a team

Chicago Bears v New York Giants
Johnathan Hankins
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

What is going on in NFL free agency with New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins?

We reported on Friday that, while all had been quiet on the Hankins front, there was a market for the defensive tackle. Well, since that time all has remained quiet. No visits. No offers. No favored team to land Hankins.

So, what’s the deal? More importantly to Giants fans, what is the chance Big Hank could return to Big Blue?

One of the teams that I was told had interest in Hankins, the Denver Broncos, went in a different direction by signing defensive tackles Domata Peko and Zack Kerr. Another team I was told had interest was the Oakland Raiders, and with the Raiders still flush with cap space ($41.8 million per Over The Cap) I would think that remains a possibility.

ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan wrote Monday that “the defensive tackle market did not materialize as some expected” and that there is “no clear-cut answer” why.

Could all of this lead Hankins back to the Giants, maybe on one of those one-year deals that would give him a chance to test the market again next offseason? The Giants, per the league’s public cap report, have $6.875 million in cap space. That number, though, remains fluid.

As Ranaan also indicated, the Giants can figure out a way to keep Hankins if they want to. Do they really want to? Might they prefer to find a more traditional 3-tech to put next to Damon Harrison, a player with better pass rush skills than Hankins? I don’t know, but I wonder about that. I guess we will find out.

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