Indianapolis Colts Release Johnathan Hankins After One Year

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: Johnathan Hankins
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: Johnathan Hankins /

Johnathan Hankins had a fantastic first season with the Colts, but he has been released as Indianapolis is changing their defensive scheme.

General manager Chris Ballard found some incredible deals in free agency last year in his first offseason with the Colts.

Jabaal Sheard, John Simon and Johnathan Hankins all came in and contributed right away even though Ballard didn’t pay top-dollar deals for any of them. Unfortunately, the Colts were forced to cut Hankins after one season as he does not fit well in the new 4-3 defensive scheme.

Hankins was a major reason why the Colts’ run defense improved from dead last in 2016 to tenth in 2017 according to Football Outsiders. Hankins earned a grade of 85.0 out of 100 from Pro Football Focus as he made a living in opposing offense’s backfields.

Hankins played out of position in his last year with the Giants after the acquisition of Damon Harrison. That led to a disappointing year where he earned a grade of 73.9 from Pro Football Focus.

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Hankins would’ve been forced to play a similar position in the scheme of new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. The Colts figured it would be better to find a different player that would be a better fit at that position rather than move Hankins further to the outside of the defensive line.

Hankins has visited the Lions and Redskins after leaving Indianapolis.

The Colts have some talent at defensive tackle that could be able to fill Hankins’ spot on the D-Line, but they will also be on the look out for some talent in free agency and the upcoming draft.