HOUSTON – New Texans defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins’ one-year $10.5 million contract has an interesting structure.
It includes a $7 million signing bonus, with $8.5 million guaranteed, a $1.5 million salary fully guaranteed for skill, injury and salary cap. He can earn an additional $73,528 per game active in roster bonuses, and has a $750,000 playtime incentive. For accounting purposes, the deal has voidable years from 2024 to 2026 if he remains on the roster the 23rd day prior to the start of the 2024 league year.
Rankins left the New York Jets to anchor the Texans’ defensive line. He had 43 tackles, three sacks, seven quarterback hits and four tackles for losses last season for the Jets and six sacks and nine tackles for losses, 14 quarterback hits in two seasons and 18 starts.
The Texans have prioritized bolstering both sides of the line of scrimmage and were actively looking to fortify the interior offensive line and the defensive line during free agency, according to multiple league sources.
“That’s everything,” first-year Texans coach and former Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans said during the NFL scouting combine when asked about the importance of being strong in the trenches. “To me, everything starts up front. It’s definitely a priority to address the offensive line and the defensive. line. The teams that are successful are the teams you see, Philly, Kansas City, their fronts were outstanding, offensively and defensively. If we want to play in February, we have to make sure our front is dominant on both sides.”
Rankins, 28, is a former New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick from Louisville who has recorded 191 career tackles, 23 1/2 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception.
The Texans also signed former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Hassan RIdgeway to a one-year, $4 million contract.
The Texans released veteran defensive end Mario Addison one year after signing him to two-year, $7.7 million contract. The door isn’t closed on potential return. It was a salary-cap related move.
The former Buffalo Bills standout has 68 career sacks, including one sack last season for the Texans. He had an injury at the start of the season, limiting him to 12 games and one start after recording seven sacks for the Bills the previous season.
Aaron Wilson is an NFL and Texans reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com