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Colts sign DT Johnathan Hankins, the biggest prize left in free agency

The defensive tackle has earned a big payday after another successful season.

Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The New York Giants decided not to re-sign defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and it took a while for the unrestricted free agent to find a new home. The Colts have scooped up the interior lineman with a three-year, $30 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Former teammate Jason Pierre-Paul received the Giants’ franchise tag ahead of free agency, all but assuring they wouldn’t have enough cap space to re-sign Hankins. Things worked out for Colts, as signing Hankins continues the team’s focus on improving the defense.

After watching Brandon Williams and Dontari Poe set the market for nose tackles, Hankins reportedly set his asking price at $10 million per year.

And he got exactly that from Indianapolis.

Coming off the final year of his rookie contract, Hankins established himself as one half of the dynamic interior duo for the Giants, alongside Damon Harrison. After finishing the 2015 season on injured reserve, his 2016 season proved that he is back and healthier than ever. He finished the latest season with 43 total tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and a blocked kick.

His initial deal out of Ohio State was worth $4 million over four years after being drafted in the second round (No. 49 overall) of the 2013 draft. He played in 11 games his rookie year, but didn’t hit his stride until year two. His second season was a career-best, with Hankins recording 51 total tackles, seven sacks, three passes defensed, and a forced fumble.

After starting 25 consecutive games, Hankins went out with a pectoral tear in Week 9 of the 2015 regular season, eventually requiring surgery. The Buckeyes’ production was tough to match in his absence, which made his full, healthy 2016 that much sweeter. His market value went down after his injury, but he’s still sitting pretty with his new $30 million contract.