The Houston Texans have agreed to a contract with New York Jets free agent defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, a source confirmed to ESPN.
NFL Network, which first reported the agreement, reports the deal is for one year and $10.5 million.
Rankins played the past two seasons for the Jets and head coach Robert Saleh, whose defensive scheme will be similar to Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans' as both coaches are former defensive coordinators of the San Francisco 49ers.
Rankins is the second defensive lineman with ties to the 49ers tree to join the Texans after Hassan Ridgeway, who played under Ryans in 2022, agreed to terms on Monday. They will join a defensive line featuring Jerry Hughes, who was a Pro Bowl alternative last season by finishing with nine sacks, and Jonathan Greenard, who had eight sacks in 2021.
After playing mainly on passing downs and as rotational backup with the Jets in 2021, Rankins moved into a starting role in 2022 and held up well against the run. When he was in the game, the Jets allowed 3.82 yards per rush, compared to 4.13 without him -- the best differential among their starting defensive linemen.
The hope is Rankins can have a similar impact in stopping the run with the Texans as he had with the Jets. Last season Houston allowed the sixth-most rushing yards for a single season (2,894 yards) and allowed 5.1 yards per carry (29th).
Rankins is best known for his interior pass-rushing ability, but his metrics sagged last season. His pressure percentage (4.2) ranked 55th out of 58 defensive tackles (minimum: 500 defensive snaps), according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He finished with three sacks and 11 pressures while playing 58% of the snaps in a nine-man rotation.
This was Rankins' second foray into free agency. In 2021, he signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Jets.
Rankins, who turns 29 on April 2, played 31 out of 34 games with the Jets and recorded six sacks and nine tackles for loss. Injuries were an issue early in his career with the New Orleans Saints -- he missed 17 games in five seasons -- but he had only two minor injuries in New York (knee and elbow).
He broke into the league as the Saints' first-round pick in 2016, missing seven games as a rookie with a fractured fibula. He also missed three games in 2019 because of season-ending foot surgery and four games in 2020 with a sprained MCL in his knee. His best year was 2018, when he recorded a career-high eight sacks.
In seven years, Rankins has played in 94 games with 23.5 sacks.
ESPN's DJ Bien-Aime and Rich Cimini contributed to this report.