PHOENIX -- The New York Giants have an offer on the table for defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins that has been there since before free agency began. And even though Hankins is obviously holding out for more money, Giants co-owner Steve Tisch indicated the team doesn't plan to pull its offer any time soon.
"No one's panicking right now," Tisch said during a break in the NFL Owners Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. "There's time. And again, by nature I'm optimistic, so I think it's going to work out. … Let me rephrase that: I would very much like this to work out."
The optimism surely comes from the obvious: Hankins has not yet signed anywhere else, and the 24-year-old defensive tackle likely isn't going to get a significantly better offer three weeks into the free-agent signing period. An NFL source told SNY that Hankins was looking for at least what the Giants gave Damon Harrison last offseason -- a five-year, $46.25 million contract with $24 million guaranteed.
The Giants did not offer that much, according to a source, but they believe their offer is significant and more than Hankins is likely to find elsewhere. So far, it does not appear that Hankins has drawn much interest at all. The Miami Dolphins reportedly called him, but were interested in him as a backup and only on a one-year deal for $4 million or less.
The Giants have $9.4 million in salary cap space, according to the most recent NFLPA update, so they have room to make Hankins a good offer. But they also don't seem inclined to overspend, especially when his options appear limited.
"We wanted to try to (re-sign Hankins) if possible without being irresponsible,'' co-owner John Mara told reporters at the Owners Meetings on Sunday. "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."
He added: "I don't think there's been any real movement" on the Hankins front, and Tisch said they have no timeline for a resolution.
"No, I think J and his agent know sort of where we are," Tisch said. "The agent has all of the phone numbers.
"Look, I'm very optimistic that we're going to work this out. I'm pretty convinced Johnathan would like to work this out. I hope we can. I think we will. And that's just going to be another position filled by an extremely talented, athletic, gifted player."