The Tennessee Titans and running back Derrick Henry’s representation has spoken in regards to a new, long-term deal for the NFL’s leading rusher.
The Tennessee Titans placed the franchise tag on star running back Derrick Henry before the free agency floodgates opened. Henry, the NFL’s leading rusher a year ago, became the face of the franchise in 2019, and the focal point of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith’s offense.
Titans Online’s Jim Wyatt reports that general manager Jon Robinson spoke with Henry before the “crowning” of the franchise tag and has subsequently spoken with his representation.
The wording gets a little ambiguous from Robinson, via Wyatt — whether or not those talks were explicitly related to a new contract — but, to me, it seems evident that the conversations with Henry’s reps are regarding a new, long-term extension. Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
For those unaware, the Titans still have until July 15th to negotiate long-term with Henry before he would have to play out the season on the tag.
There’s also the argument that history frowns upon signing superstar running backs to larger contracts and often buries teams under them.
For example, by cutting RB Todd Gurley on March 19th, the Los Angeles Rams had to eat $20.2 million in dead cap. His four-year, $57.5 million deal with $45 million in guarantees turned south quickly with the deterioration of Gurley’s knee. With a post-June 1st designation, they will spread the cap hit over two years, but still, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
But then, on the other hand, doesn’t Henry feel like an anomaly to everyone else? I mean, the guy is maybe the best running back specimen we’ve seen in a long time from a physical standpoint. Not to mention, he took over as a vocal leader in the locker room and, with the departure of a few team captains, should be first on the list as a potential replacement.
Get it done, JR.
Henry finished 2019 with 303 carries for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, adding 18 catches for 206 yards and two more touchdowns through the air.