We continue our Jets roster countdown today as we take a look at Sheldon Rankins.
Name: Sheldon Rankins
Year With Jets: 2nd
Projected Role: Starting Defensive Tackle
His 2021: The Jets landed Rankins on a moderate free agent contract. He was reportedly generating interest from a number of teams. For his part, Rankins was saying that he finally felt like himself near the end of 2020 for the first time since suffering an Achilles injury in the 2018 Playoffs. That ended a breakout season where the defensive tackle seemed on his way to stardom. The Jets were hoping they got an impact player who could form a dynamic defensive tackle duo with Quinnen Williams. What they got was inconsistency. Rankins had his moments as a pass rusher, namely a pressure on a critical overtime play against the Titans that helped to clinch an upset victory. However, the defensive tackle was a liability in the run game and contributed to the team’s poor performance in this area.
2022 will be a success if: Rankins actually does find that 2018 form where he looked like a budding star with the Saints. It might be a lot to ask, though. He is now a long way removed from that injury and has yet to look like an impact player.
Odds of making the roster: I suppose it’s theoretically possible that the Jets could look to trade Rankins. He has a relatively small salary, and maybe some team is out there that thinks they can rejuvenate his career. I find this unlikely, though. If the Jets were looking to move on from Rankins, they easily could have done so early in the offseason with minimal dead money. Early in the new league year guarantees kicked in for Rankins, eliminating almost all cap savings from moving on. The decision makers presumably decided he was worth keeping so I say he’s Probable (75-99%).