Is Derrick Henry in the Tennessee Titans plan for the future?

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

As the Tennessee Titans playoff hopes grow slim, many fans are shifting their sights to next season. 

The Tennessee Titans are set to lose a few key veterans following the 2023 campaign, including future Hall of Fame running back Derrick Henry, who has been the face of the franchise since his breakout in 2019.

Henry is going to be a free agent after the end of the season, and deciding whether the franchise should bring him back is a very complex subject. Henry has been one of the strongest advocates for increasing RB salaries and currently sits at 601 rushing yards which is good for second-best in the league. 

On the one hand, Henry will probably want a high-paying extension to back up his strong season so far and his commentary about the position. On the other hand, however, Henry will be 30 by the end of the season, and he has already shown signs of physical decline. 

Should the Tennessee Titans re-sign Derrick Henry?

That all depends. The Tennessee Titans need to change where they’re spending their money; spending high at the running back position is not a good plan for team success. 

If Derrick Henry is willing to come back on a team-friendly contract (something between 5-8 million dollars) then it's a no-brainer to bring back one of the most popular players in franchise history. Considering that Henry now has roots in Nashville with investments in the Nashville Soccer Club, it certainly is not out of the question that he could play for less than he might get elsewhere.

But if Henry won't settle for anything less than the deal he’s got now it’s just not worth it for the Titans. As sad as it might be, running back production is the most easily replaceable of any position in football, and Tennessee already has the clear heir to the throne on the roster in Tyjae Spears.

The Titans are set to more than $100 million in cap space going into 2023, so theoretically they could still sign Henry, but there are a lot of other major needs on the offense that must be addressed including the offensive line. 

It's also worth noting that Tennessee opted not to trade Henry at the deadline even though his deal ends at the end of the season, which may show their intent to bring him back after this year.

It's a long season, and there's still plenty of football left to play. So many things can happen between now and the offseason, so it’s hard to predict exactly how GM Ran Carthon and the Tennessee Titans will handle the Henry situation.

All that being said, the future continues to look brighter and brighter for the Tennessee Titans.