In what has to be considered one of the most surprising moves of the NFL offseason, the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday announced the release of defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) March 17, 2018
This comes just one year after Indianapolis signed Hankins to a three-year, $27 million deal. The 26-year-old defensive tackle was among the team’s best defensive players a season ago. He recorded 44 tackles and two sacks while acting the part of one of the best run-stuffing defensvie tackles in the game.
Indianapolis’ reasoning for the move is its transition from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 scheme under first-year head coach Frank Reich. Hankins was signed last offseason when former head coach Chuck Pagano was still running the ship. Even this, it’s a rather interesting move and puts an elite-level defender back on the free agent market.
The Colts save $8.5 million against the 2018 cap by releasing Hankins.