In surprise move, Colts cut last year's prized free agent Johnathan Hankins

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IndyStar Colts Insider Stephen Holder breaks down the haul Chris Ballard and the Colts netted from Saturday’s trade with the Jets.
Matthew Glenesk/IndyStar

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts have released their biggest free-agent signing from 2017 one year into his deal.

The Colts have cut defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who they signed last March to a three-year, $27 million deal, in their second surprising move of the day.

The decision to cut Hankins comes when the Colts are moving to a new 4-3 defensive system under coordinator Matt Eberflus. This, according to a league source, was the driving force behind the decision to part with Hankins.

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Hankins was a productive and disruptive player on the Colts’ defense in 2017, quickly becoming one of its best performers. He certainly demonstrated no lack of talent and lived up to the contract he was awarded. But in 2018, the switch to a speed-based defense appears to have changed the team’s view of Hankins’ fit. The major emphasis…

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