Sheldon Rankins on why he joined Jets: 'I needed a team to see me as the player I saw myself as'

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Danny Abriano
·2 min read
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Sheldon Rankins applying pressure while wearing white Saints uniform
Sheldon Rankins applying pressure while wearing white Saints uniform

The Jets signed former New Orleans Saints DT Sheldon Rankins on Sunday to a two-year deal worth up to $17 million.

Rankins, 26, started al 32 regular season games for the Saints over 2017 and 2018, but has started just one game out of the 22 he's played over the last two seasons.

On Monday, Rankins spoke during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio about why he chose the Jets and where he is health-wise.

"For me going into this whole process I kind of had a few things that were going to be important to me," Rankins said. "Scheme fit was going to be big, and opportunity and vision. I needed a team to see me as the player that I saw myself as and I think I got that with the Jets.

So when all those things lined up and I obviously spoke with everybody in the building and saw what we're capable of building and saw what they’re already already building, I jumped on board."

Rankins, who tore his Achilles during the 2018 playoffs and missed the 2019 postseason due to an ankle injury, said he's "back to feeling like every bit of what I felt like in 2018, which is obviously my best year where I felt like I was coming into my own as a premier d-tackle in this league."

"Last few years have been frustrating because me as a player, I'm going to battle through anything and everything I can to be out there fighting with my teammates," Rankins said. "And at times, obviously, from the outside perspective, they don't see all the things I'm battling through and they just see me as not being productive or not being explosive or not being the guy I was from before, not knowing everything I'm dealing with.

"So it is tough, you know, it’s tough mentally, tough physically, but weak minded and weak individuals don't play these games. So I've been able to battle through it and, and continue to work and continue to trust in my own process, continue to trust in my own abilities and continue to trust that there's going to be a point where I feel like myself again. And once I hit that point, it’s time to shut all the noise off."