The Indianapolis Colts met with free agent Johnathan Hankins on Tuesday as the team continues to look at improving their defensive line, Mike Wells of ESPN reports.
Hankins, 25, would give the Colts a proven option at nose tackle, a position currently occupied by David Parry – who is facing multiple felony charges related to a February arrest – and newly-signed career backup Al Woods.
Hankins was a 2013 second-round pick of the New York Giants who has established himself as a premier defensive line anchor.
It remains to be seen whether the Colts are able to add another intriguing defensive component at a reasonable price, or whether they’ll have to invest at a heavier level. The period of time for veteran free agents to secure hefty multi-year contracts generally has passed, but Hankins might be an exception considering his age and pedigree.
The Giants reportedly have on offer on the table for Hankins to return, but it obviously hasn’t met his demands. It’s believed he’s been seeking a multi-year deal worth nearly $8 million per year.
Ballard has been busy in free agency, but hardly reckless. His free-agent acquisitions have included linebackers Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, Sean Spencer and Barkevious Mingo, defensive end Margus Hunt and Woods. Sheard’s contract has been the biggest: three years, $25 million with $9.5 million guaranteed.
Hankins would undoubtedly step in as the projected starting nose tackle, leap-frogging Parry and Woods. Parry’s status with the team remains uncertain following his alcohol-related arrest in Phoenix.