Armando Salguero

The latest on the darkhorse DT who is really no mystery to the Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are trying to get help at defensive tackle for Jordan Phillips (97) and Ndamukong Suh.
The Dolphins are trying to get help at defensive tackle for Jordan Phillips (97) and Ndamukong Suh.

You’ve heard of Johnathan Hankins, right?

He’s the darkhorse defensive tackle signee candidate I really like as a free agent addition to the Dolphins and the player I suggested the team pursue, instead of wasting its time with Dontari Poe, who visited with the Dolphins Wednesday morning.

Anyway, the Dolphins went forward with their scheduled Poe visit and that did not result in a contract being signed or agreed to. That doesn’t mean it will not happen, as Poe now returns to his home and considers whatever options he has from among the teams interested in him -- Atlanta, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and the Dolphins so far.

And obviously, it should not surprise that Poe didn’t sign with the Dolphins because, as I reported earlier, the man wants to get paid while the Dolphins want to sign him to a one-year, bargain type deal.

Except Poe doesn’t deserve a big payday based of his declining performance the past two years. And some teams seem to know this. The Dolphins certainly know this.

That’s why Poe’s has not signed a contract as of this writing.

And that’s why I put forward Hankins’ name Wednesday morning (at 2 a.m. when I filed my post).

Well, now it is Wednesday evening and there’s an update...

I put forward Hankins name out there and apparently someone within the Dolphins organization asked, “..what about about the defensive tackle dumb columnist Mando is putting out there?” That’s not really a direct quote because “dumb” is probably not the adjective that was used to describe me. (Use your imagination).

And the answer came back something like this: “We know dumb (euphimism) columnist Mando put Hankins name out there and we thought of Hankins long before dumb columnist Mando thought of him.”

So there’s good news here.

Like you, the Dolphins read my stuff!

And they know I’m dumb (again, I’m softening things), so no use me trying to fool them anymore.

But they agree Hankins is an interesting guy.

So Hallelujah!

Unfortunately, however, for the Dolphins and their fans and me (because I won’t be able to take credit for coming up with the idea), Johnathan Hankins is on the radar but he’s probably never going to be a Miami Dolphin unless something dramatic changes either with him or the Dolphins.

The issue is the Dolphins want a one-year, short-term answer to their defensive tackle rotation. They have Ndamukong Suh. They have Jordan Phillips. There are major resources invested in those two. The team is not looking to spend a ton on another defensive tackle.

Miami is looking for a rotational guy who can play about 20-25 snaps a game when either Jordan or Suh need a rest.

Thus the reason the Dolphins aren’t going to pay a lot for that role player.

But Hankins, who played very well last season for the New York Giants, sees himself as more than a rotational player. He sees himself as a bona fide NFL starting defensive tackle. (He just might be that, even better than Phillips, actually).

And he wants to get paid like a starting defensive tackle -- which means he wants a multi-year contract and wants to make $8M a year, at minimum.

That’s what the Hankins camp is telling every team when they call. That’s what the Hankins camp told the Dolphins when they called way before I ever wrote his name.

(You should feel good about your team because it used to be I could come up with ideas before the team did. Not anymore.)

Even though no other team is jumping to attention to snap Hankins off the free agency market, the Hankins camp is holding firm on the idea he deserves and is going to get a multi-year deal.

So no Johnathan Hankins as of this moment. No Dontari Poe, either.

One or the other is going to have to change his mindset of wanting a big contract for him to become a Miami Dolphin. Because the Miami Dolphins aren’t changing their collective mind or price point on this matter.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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