Derrick Henry was the best running back in football this season. He will be a free agent this offseason. Should the Tennessee Titans pay him this spring?
The Tennessee Titans are coming off their biggest playoff win in two decades. Tennessee went into Foxborough as the No. 6 seed and defeated the No. 3-seeded New England Patriots on Wild Card Weekend. The biggest reason Tennessee was able to pull off the shocking upset was the play of superstar running back Derrick Henry. Will the Titans be willing to pay him top-dollar in 2020?
On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman, along with former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, discuss Henry’s value in the final year of his rookie deal with the Titans and decide if he’s going to be worth the money Tennessee will have to pay on the open market to bring him back on a new contract (55:11).
While Schwartz and Verderame are in on that the Titans will bring him back on a new deal, on account of how valuable he is to their offense, they don’t think Tennessee should pay him the big bucks, but they most certainly will. Schwartz doesn’t believe in giving a running back a massive multi-year deal on a second contract. When does that ever work out for the team who signs him?
Verderame straight up said the Titans should use the franchise tag on him. He says the Titans would be foolish to pay him a boatload of money on a multi-year, especially given the number of carries he had in high school and at the University of Alabama for Nick Saban. Verderame hopes the Titans tag him and then put together a two-year deal to keep Ryan Tannehill in Nashville.
Frankly, Henry feels like a prime candidate to be tagged. He’ll get a huge jump in pay in 2020 and the Titans will still likely get tremendous production out of the guy. It is shady? Yes, but this is a business. Henry is a dominant running back, but how much longer will be playing at this Pro Bowl-level? Tennessee may test the water in NFL free agency or the NFL Draft at running back.
There are three quality running backs who the Titans could take at the back-end of the first round this spring: Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Clemson’s Travis Etienne. They may target one of those guys as Henry’s eventual successor, but we have to believe the Titans will pay Henry a premium this offseason. Let’s hope it doesn’t hurt them down the line.
Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:
- Saints shockingly go home on controversial call (4:24)
- Should the NFL change overtime rules? (8:39)
- Does Tom Brady return to the Patriots? (25:19)
- What are we looking forward to this week? (57:10)
All this and more!