The Bengals are pleased to have Sheldon Rankins as part of their team.

In Cincinnati, Sheldon Rankins found himself reflecting on the highlights of his career, which ultimately led him to a press conference at Paycor Stadium on Monday morning. While initially not mentioning his past successes against the Bengals, Rankins happily recounted his six career sacks against them once prompted. These memorable moments, still vivid in his memory, resonated with the Bengals as they officially signed the 30-year-old defensive tackle to a lucrative two-year deal.

Acknowledging the Bengals’ kindness, Rankins expressed gratitude for the opportunity, symbolized by his contract valued at $24.5 million, including $8 million guaranteed. This signing was a strategic move by Cincinnati to bolster its interior pass rush, ranking seventh in pass rush win rate among defensive tackles. The addition of Rankins complements the defensive line, which features edge rusher Trey Hendrickson, Rankins’ former teammate in New Orleans.

Rankins’ impact against the Bengals hasn’t gone unnoticed. Notably, his three-sack performance as a member of the Houston Texans led to a game-altering outcome, coinciding with a pivotal moment in quarterback Joe Burrow’s season. Reflecting on his past encounters with the Bengals, Rankins jokingly questioned their pass protection strategies, highlighting missed opportunities from his perspective.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the Bengals pursued Rankins. In 2021, discussions were held, but Rankins ultimately chose a deal with the New York Jets. However, this time, the Bengals’ persistence and improved offer secured Rankins’ commitment, demonstrating their determination to have him on their side.

After years of facing off against Cincinnati’s quarterbacks, Rankins found himself on the receiving end of their pursuit, solidifying his place in their lineup. This unexpected turn of events signifies a new chapter for Rankins and the Bengals, one characterized by mutual respect and a shared goal of success on the field.

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