Tennessee Titans should not let Derrick Henry test free agency

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) heads off the field after possibly his last game as
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) heads off the field after possibly his last game as / Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA

The big news surrounding the Tennessee Titans at the moment is Brian Callahan being hired as the head coach, as well as a restructuring of the front office.

Mike Vrabel was dismissed after six seasons, and now former Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator Brian Callahan is the franchise’s newest sideline leader. It’s also worth noting that Ran Carthon added executive vice president to his general manager title. Chad Brinker was named director of football operations.

The team is coming off back-to-back losing campaigns, and the TennesseeTitans (6-11) were the only team in the AFC South to finish with a losing record in 2023. With poor results, plenty of money, and a new power structure in place, changes are imminent for this franchise.

The club’s top potential unrestricted free agents include veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill and unsung defensive end Denico Autry. However, the elephant in the room is 30-year-old running back, Derrick Henry.

How much does Derrick Henry have left?

The two-time NFL rushing leader appeared to say goodbye to the fans in Nashville following the team’s 28-20 upset win over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars. Henry totaled 19 carries for 153 yards and one score as the Titans knocked the defending AFC South champions out of the playoff chase (and put the Steelers and Bills into the postseason).

The four-time Pro Bowler and 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year led the NFL with 280 carries and finished second behind San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey (1,459) with 1,167 yards on the ground. He ran for a dozen touchdowns, the sixth consecutive season he’s rushed for at least 10 scores.

Henry’s 90 rushing TDs are tied for 13th in NFL annals, and he’s one of only 15 players in league history to reach that total. He’s led the NFL in carries in four of the past five season, but he has only 2,030 career regular-season attempts (9,502 yards). That’s a relatively low total for a workhorse running back at his age.

The Tennessee Titans are in great shape in terms of the salary cap (via Spotrac). With numerous changes ahead, Carthon would be wise to retain the services of the franchise’s second-leading rusher, if Henry is interested in returning to the Titans. There is obviously still a lot of tread on the tire when it comes to Henry.

The last thing the team needs is to have the talented workhorse come back and haunt the organization. It’s going to be a very interesting offseason in Nashville.