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Report: Bengals Sign Former Louisville DL Sheldon Rankins

The former Cardinal spent last season in Houston with the Texans.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Another former Louisville football defensive lineman is cashing in during the first few days of the NFL's free agency period.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins has agreed with the Cincinnati Bengals to a two-year $26 million deal, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Rankins is the second former Cardinal to leave for another NFL team in free agency this offseason. Edge rusher and former Houston Texans teammate Jonathan Greenard signed with the Minnesota Vikings earlier this week.

The 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive tackle spent the 2023 season with the Houston Texans, and while he spent just one season with the organization, it was one of the better years of his career. Starting 15 games, he logged 37 total tackles (29 solo), 9.0 for loss, 6.0 sacks, 10 QB hits, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble for a touchdown - the first in his career.

The Covington, Ga. native spent the previous two seasons with the New York Jets after playing the first five seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints, who picked him in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the No. 12 overall pick. In 109 career games and 66 starts, Rankins has amassed 228 total tackles (146 solo), 68 QB hits, 43.0 tackles for loss, 29.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

In 46 career games for Louisville from 2012-15, mainly at defensive end, Rankins tallied 18.0 sacks, 31.5 tackles for loss, 133 total tackles (72 solo) and two forced fumbles. He was a two-time All-ACC selection, being named to the Third-Team in 2014, then the Second-Team in 2015 for his senior season.

(Photo of Sheldon Rankins: Thomas Shea - USA TODAY Sports)

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