Eddie George: Re-signing Derrick Henry should be Titans top priority
Eddie George thinks Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is a top-three running back in the NFL.
If it was up to Tennessee Titans great Eddie George, the team would re-sign running back Derrick Henry to a multi-year deal after this season. Henry is set to become a free agent in 2020 and there has been some debate about whether or not the Titans should sign him.
It’s clear Henry is vital to the Titans’ offense, but there is also inherent risk in signing running backs to another contract after their rookie deal, as history has proven with, for example, a guy like Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley.
However, it’s hard to deny Henry’s talent. He’s on pace to break his career-high in rushing yards (1,059 in 2018) with 832 through 10 games in 2019, and he’s a big-play threat unlike almost any other back in the NFL whenever he touches the ball.
Henry will be 26 in January, so he’s still four years away from the dreaded running back age of 30, and he may not garner as much money in free agency as one would think given his struggles as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
In my opinion, the Titans must make Henry a priority during the offseason and bring him back, and George agrees with that notion. He also said Henry is a top-three back in the league during his appearance on The Midday 180 show on Tuesday.
George’s point is well-taken. Henry hasn’t been featured quite as much as he should have been this year and during his entire career, which is both a good and bad thing.
Henry needs a lot of carries to really get going in games and the Titans haven’t done that enough, but his lack of consistent workhorse usage also means there isn’t a lot of wear and tear on his body, which could help him make it through his next contract.
It also helps that the Alabama product is in sick shape and is a big, bruising back that can punish opposing defenders trying to tackle him. Along with his immense size, Henry has amazing speed, and together that combination makes him anything but your run-of-the-mill back.
Along with bringing Henry back, the Titans need to either sign or draft a running back who can contribute on third downs. Veteran back Dion Lewis simply isn’t getting it done in 2019 and it would make all the sense in the world for the Titans to cut him in 2020.