Jets Rumors: DT Sheldon Rankins Agrees to 2-Year Contract Worth Up to $17M

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

New Orleans Saints' Sheldon Rankins (98) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. The Eagles defeated the Saints 24-21. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Rich Schultz/Associated Press

The New York Jets reportedly agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract with defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins on Sunday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. 

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network added that the Cincinnati Bengals "also made a hard run" at the former New Orleans Saints interior lineman. 


Jets are signing Sheldon Rankins to a two-year deal worth up to $17M, per @MikeGarafolo Rankins: 73.8 PFF Grade since 2017 (36th) https://t.co/bN19Xa8QvI

Rankins, 26, was a first-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2016 and looked poised to become one of the better interior defensive linemen in football after posting eight sacks in 2018. But an Achilles tear and other injuries limited him to just 22 games the past two seasons, costing him a starting job in New Orleans. 

A healthy Rankins back in top form, however, would give the Jets a dynamic interior duo alongside Quinnen Williams. 

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

Robert Saleh’s defense was at its best with Bosa, Armstead, Buckner and Thomas. Sheldon Rankins another piece in building that type of a front with #Jets

Dan Graca @DanGraca

Liking the Sheldon Rankins signing. Along the lines of the other moves by Joe D. Very productive, when healthy. Didn't overpay. Rankins, Quinnen, Lawson, Foley is a nice foursome to have on the D-line. #Jets

Jason B. Hirschhorn @by_JBH

Sheldon Rankins is an intriguing buy-low. Since his 2018 Achilles tear, he has just 43 pressures on 489 rushes (8.8% pressure rate). However, he had 46 pressures on 446 rushes (10.3%) in 2018 (before injury). Maybe that guy is gone, but the Jets aren't paying much to find out.

Connor Rogers @ConnorJRogers

#Jets have a lot of work to do at CB but the pass rush potential of the front four is pretty exciting - I think they’ll take an EDGE in the draft too

The Jets have been busy this offseason, adding upgrades to the defense via free agency:

  • Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner: One year, $3 million
  • Middle linebacker Jarrad Davis: One year, $5.5 million
  • Defensive end Carl Lawson: Three years, $45 million
  • Cornerback and special teamer Justin Hardee: Three years, $6.8 million

The trio of a healthy Rankins, Williams and Lawson could be a real terror for opposing teams if they hit their collective potential. That would be huge for a Jets team that gave up 275.6 passing yards per game (28th in the NFL) last year, posted 31 sacks (tied 20th) and had just 19 takeaways (tied 22nd). 

The ability to generate pressure with just the front four remains wildly valuable in the modern, pass-heavy NFL. The Jets are putting the pieces in place to do just that in 2021.