Tennessee Titans correctly franchise tag running back Derrick Henry

The Tennessee Titans nailed the Derrick Henry decision.

This morning the Tennessee Titans franchise tagged running back Derrick Henry.

Now before you get upset, you need to know that this was absolutely the right decision given the inferences we can make about the other options.

First of all, let’s talk about the actual tag. Per multiple reports it will be the franchise tag and not the transition tag, which means that the contract will be roughly $10.3 million all guaranteed in 2020.

Knowing that, I think we can assume that the Titans were offering him a contract that gave him less than that in year one though it probably had more guaranteed money across the board and would have kept him in the fold for multiple years.

Derrick Henry shouldn’t be inclined to sign a deal that will keep him off the market for the rest of his prime unless he gets paid top dollar, but that isn’t the full story.

The Titans also shouldn’t be inclined to sign a running back to a second contract who is coming off of the hottest stretch of his career despite being inconsistent for the first half of both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

A deal was always unlikely unless both sides were willing to compromise or unless one side completely ignored reason like the Titans did when they signed Chris Johnson to his mega deal a decade ago.

We are currently seeing running backs cut across the NFL who signed deals just a year or two ago and that is because the running back position doesn’t age well at all. When you become ineffective you become a vacuum for touches and a drain on your offense.

I am not saying that is what will happen to Henry, but everyone needs to be aware that running backs only prove to be worth more than a one year deal on extremely rare occasions.

Did everyone forget the lessons we should have learned with DeMarco Murray after his first year in Tennessee? Or Chris Johnson after the first year of his new contract? The list goes on across the NFL, but the fact is that the Titans made the right call by giving Henry the tag.

Ideally, the two settle on a new deal that sees him stay longer in Tennessee on a nice contract that isn’t loaded with guaranteed money. However, history shows that you are much more likely to hit on re-signing a 30 year old QB than you are re-signing a 26 year old running back.