Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Sheldon Rankins


The Falcons are set to have around $70 million in cap space this offseason. There isn’t a single position group that doesn’t need top-end talent or depth. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith are entering a critical juncture in their tenure with more cap space than ever. This continues a series of potential Falcons free agent targets, moving on to Sheldon Rankins. Below are past editions:

Falcons Free Agent Targets 2023: Sheldon Rankins

The Falcons are going to add to the defensive front. Grady Jarrett and Ta’Quon Graham are the only worthwhile pieces along the interior, and Sheldon Rankins would fit right in.

The familiarity is there. Prior to his stop in Atlanta, Ryan Nielson had been in New Orleans, where he’s overseen the defensive line directly since 2017. He’s intimately familiar with Rankins, and we know how much this regime values past connections.

The Falcons could offer him a similar deal as he received from the Jets a couple of years ago. A two-year deal worth $12-14 million sounds fair. Despite briefly dealing with an injury, he turned in an impressive campaign, notching a career mark of 33 tackles last year. He’s not stellar in any one area, but he’s a reliable contributor defending the run and rushing the passer. He shouldn’t break the bank, either, which is important.

Getting four or five sacks and 30-ish pressures from a guy commanding only $6-7 million per year is good value. Instead of paying someone like Javon Hargrave a deal worth close to $20 million AAV, having Rankins would enable the club to acquire more talent in the trenches without thinking, “well, we already spent all that money on…”

Sheldon Rankins makes a ton of sense in more than one way for the Falcons.

Photographer: Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire
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