Latest Titans free agency move is a bit of a head scratcher

It's a good year to be a free agent running back, apparently.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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On Tuesday, the move that most Titans fans expected finally happened: Derrick Henry officially signed somewhere else. And even more unsurprising is where he signed: the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, the only thing surprising about Derrick Henry signing with the Ravens is the fact that he did so for a reasonable salary:

And frankly, it's less interesting that Henry got $9 million guaranteed – that seems par for the course considering where he is in his career – and more interesting that the Titans were, apparently, not interested in paying him that. They were interested in paying roughly that same amount of money to Tony Pollard, though:

In defense of the Titans, Henry has three more seasons – and 40 extra games – on Pollard, who's only started 23 of the 79 games he appeared in with the Cowboys. Pollard is also four years younger than Henry, which is especially significant for running backs. And, most importantly, the Titans aren't going to be winning AFC playoff games anytime soon – Henry spent eight years in Tennessee, and now that former Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan is taking over for Mike Vrable, it makes sense that the organization would give Henry a chance to go win somewhere.

So sure, maybe Pollard has more left in the tank at this point in both of their careers. But hesitating to give one running back $20 million (Pollards guarantees, which are not an insignificant detail in this whole debate, haven't been released yet) so you can turn around and give another back the same deal is, at the very least, optically weird. The overpay hurts a little, too: Pro Football Focus projected that Pollard would only get $20 million, with 11.5 guaranteed. Meanwhile, Henry was only projected to get $18 million, so maybe it's just finally a good year to be a modern running back.

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