Derrick Henry Franchise Tag:
Derrick Henry is the Tennessee Titans’ best player. He’s coming back next year, looking to pick up where he left off after blazing a warpath through the back half of the schedule. That’s all that should matter right now.
Maybe it isn’t the move that fans wanted. Henry being as crucial to Tennessee’s overall success as he was, maybe finding room in the budget to work out a long term deal with Henry would have received a more enthusiastic reception. But regardless of how talented Henry is, the short-term move is the safest and smartest bet.
Not that inking Henry to a high-paying, long-term contract would necessarily be a mistake. The reasoning behind wanting to keep your best player for as long as possible doesn’t need explaining, but it is a risky idea given the career trajectory of running backs.
Henry will be 26 years old by the time the 2020 NFL season kicks off, and 27 years old by the time the playoffs roll around. He should be set to hit his prime based on the average performance of running backs through the years, but after that prime often comes a sharp decline in play.
It’s possible Henry could be the exception to the NFL’s harsh running back reality, but the Titans can figure that out later after observing Henry’s play for another year. For now, they’re getting their offensive heart back for one more season, which history tells us should be another good one.