The New York Jets make a sneaky, under-the-radar signing to add Sheldon Rankins to their defensive line rotation.
The New York Jets continue to make interesting moves in NFL free agency. They have signed former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to a two-year deal worth $17 million to amplify their defensive line rotation.
Rankins was a former No. 12 overall pick by the Saints out of Louisville back in 2016. He had spent his entire five-year NFL career in New Orleans, playing in 63 games and recording 17.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position. Though he was never a Pro Bowler, Rankins did have eight sacks in 2018 and had been a big part of the Saints’ last four NFC South division championship teams.
Sheldon Rankins going to the Jets is another example of the Saints’ cap issues
While it remains to be seen how all of Gang Green’s free agency moves will shake out, one thing is certain: The Saints were unable to kick the can down the road when it came to the salary cap. Notable players from their core were released, while others like Rankins signed elsewhere in free agency. With Drew Brees retiring, the Saints are not expected to win the NFC South in 2021.
As for the Jets, this is a good move made by general manager Joe Douglas. He gets a guy from a winning culture in New Orleans who can hopefully fit new head coach Robert Saleh’s scheme. If New York ends its league-worst playoff drought anytime soon, it will be because of a revamped defensive identity under Saleh.
While this move does not transform the Jets’ culture, signing Rankins makes them a better team.