May 19, 2024

The Bengals are bracing themselves for the potential departure of a key free agent with their latest acquisition. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Cincinnati has secured the signing of veteran defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to a lucrative two-year, $26 million contract. Rankins, a former first-round pick by the Saints in 2016, steps in to fill the void left by impending free agent DJ Reader on the defensive line.

NFL rumors: Sheldon Rankins contract details with Bengals revealed

Despite the Bengals’ desire to retain Reader, who has been a solid contributor since joining in 2020, recent developments suggest he may be moving on, with reports indicating he was en route to visit the Lions. This signing of Rankins signals the Bengals’ readiness to potentially bid farewell to Reader and shore up their defensive front.

At 29 years old, Rankins brings a track record of productivity, having amassed impressive statistics across multiple teams since 2020. Some observers even see him as an upgrade over Reader, bolstering Cincinnati’s defense, which struggled last season, yielding the second-highest total yards per game in the league.

Joining forces with formidable edge rushers Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard, who combined for 23.5 sacks in 2023, Rankins adds another dimension to the Bengals’ defensive lineup. Following a challenging season marked by quarterback Joe Burrow’s injury, Cincinnati is determined to bounce back and contend for a Super Bowl in 2024, with Rankins as a pivotal addition to their roster.

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