The Saints are picking up defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins‘ fifth-year option, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The money is guaranteed for injury, so, as Rapoport notes, it’s a sign they believe Rankins will make a full recovery from his Achilles injury.
Rankins, one of the best young defensive linemen in the game, is likely to begin the 2019 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, which would force him to miss the first six games of the year. Rankins, 25, played the most snaps of any Saints defensive tackle in 2018, managing 40 tackles (12 for loss), eight sacks, and 15 quarterback hits in the process. Pro Football Focus, meanwhile, graded Rankins as the No. 23 interior defender among 119 qualifiers.
With the additional year, Rankins will be under contract through the 2020 season. And, when he takes the field this year, he’ll help anchor a D-Line that has been overhauled by the additions of Malcom Brown and Mario Edwards Jr. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Tyeler Davison and Alex Okafor will not return after signing with the Falcons and Chiefs, respectively.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.