Saints Sign First-Round Pick Sheldon Rankins

The The deal is worth a total of $12.8 million ($7.51 million of which will come as signing bonuses) according to The Saints will have a fifth-year team option on Rankins.

The former Louisville Cardinal will look to fortify a defense that has struggled at an historic rate over the last two seasons. New Orleans’ defense gave up a league-high 29.8 points-per-game and allowed the second-most yards per game (413.4). The Saints ranked in the bottom-five in both categories in three of the last four seasons.

The Saints have also signed rookies Michael Thomas and Daniel Lasco. Both, the second-round receiver and the seventh-round running back, were signed to four-year deals as well.

Thomas will join a receiving group that led the NFL in receiving yards in 2015. Lasco will look to make his mark on the team’s bottom-10 finishes in rushing and kick return yards.  

The Saints are still yet to sign second-round pick Vonn Bell and fourth-round pick David Onyemata.