The Eagles are over the salary cap by over $5 million. That needs to be made clear as the NFL rumor mill continues to churn.
But the Birds are in need of defensive line depth in the wake of Bennie Logan’s departure — and Giants free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is not only a great fit, he’s also extremely available.
“There’s still one more piece out there that we’d like to keep, but we wanted to try to do that if possible without being irresponsible,” Giants owner JohnMara told the New York Post, alluding to Hankins. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. We certainly want him back, but it’s got to make sense for us. He’s an important part of our team, he’s a great kid, he’s young and he fits in very well with us.”
Giants insider Kimberly Jones reports that an offer has been on the table for weeks, but that the Hankins camp has yet to accept it. The Giants seem to insist that their offer, whatever it is, is market value for the pass-rusher.
The Eagles will have an opening up the middle next to Fletcher Cox, and Beau Allen is the top candidate to take over, though the lack of depth at interior defensive line is pretty apparent in Philly.
Hankins, 24,is one of just two top 50 free agents left unsigned and the longer he takes to ink a deal with the Giants, the better the chance is for another team to enter the mix. Hankins’ counterpart Logan signed with the Chiefs on a one-year, $8 million deal during an offseason that has seen a bevy of players inking short contracts to bet on themselves. Philly has a little flexibility in that they can still cut players like Jason Kelce or Ryan Mathews to open cap space. It could be worth it to net a young and talented run-stuffer like Hankins.
Hankins started all 16 games in New York last season, forcing a fumble and collecting three sacks and 29 tackles.