One of the NFL’s best defenses will feature more defensive line talent than it has in recent weeks. The Saints activated Sheldon Rankins from IR on Saturday.
An MCL injury sidelined the contract-year defensive tackle since Week 8. While Rankins’ role has changed since his Achilles tear in the 2018 playoffs, he still represents a key depth piece for the Super Bowl-contending Saints. New Orleans has won eight straight games and now leads the league in total defense.
The Saints have used Rankins as a backup behind David Onyemata and Malcom Brown this season, but the former first-round pick was a full-time starter prior in the two seasons prior to his Achilles malady. Rankins has seen various injuries, including a 2019 ankle setback, affect his NFL status. But he will have a chance to make a final push for a reasonable free agency deal in the weeks ahead.
After drafting Michigan center Cesar Ruiz in the first round of the draft, the team made their largest undrafted-free-agent investment in an offensive lineman. Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets that Oregon’s Calvin Throckmorton will earn $110K in guaranteed money and a $12.5K signing bonus. The team also gave $90K in guaranteed money to Jordan Steckler(per Underhill on Twitter).
On the defensive side of the ball, Texas defensive lineman Malcolm Roachwill earn $95K in guaranteed money (via Underhill on Twitter). The versatile defender finished his collegiate career with nine tackles-for-loss and three sacks in 2019.