Yesterday the Atlanta Falcons announced the signing of free-agent wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, formerly of the Washington Redskins, following Hankerson letting the cat out of the bag on his own twitter account in the afternoon. Hankerson reportedly signed a one-year deal worth $1 million.
Hankerson, 26, spent the past four years in Washington including his first three during which he played under current Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Hankerson was originally selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. He also played high school football at famed St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, the same school as safety Dezmen Southward, although the two were never teammates.
Hankerson was limited as a rookie with the Redskins, starting just two of four games before his season was ended due to a torn labrum in his right hip. He caught 13 passes for 163 yards before the season was over. He came back healthy in 2012, catching a career-high 38 passes for 543 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games while starting five of them. His 2013 season was once again injury-marred after eclipsing Josh Morgan as a starter. He ended the year on injured reserve after tearing a pair of ligaments in his left knee. He finished that season starting seven of 10 games catching 30 passes for 375 yards and three scores. The knee injury lingered into 2014, as he began the season on the Redskins’ Physically-Unable-to-Perform list. He was activated to the roster after Week 10 but thereafter only appeared in one game, catching no passes. He was inactive in four of the final six games for the Redskins.
Hankerson is expected to add depth in an attempt to fill the void left by Harry Douglas after the latter was released earlier this offseason. At 6’2″ and 211 pounds, Hankerson brings considerably more size than Douglas to the Falcons’ receiver corps.