Rumor: Tennessee Titans trading Derrick Henry to Philadelphia Eagles

2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games
2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Normally rumors around this time of year should be ignored, but the rumor about Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles is just strange enough to be true.

Let's start with the origin of the rumor.

Some of you might recognize the name that started the rumor. It wasn't Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport, it was Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. The former NFL player turned NFL analyst, commentator of American Ninja Warrior, and author was the one to (potentially) break the news.

Now, a former player calling out a trade or trying to start a rumor isn't new, but there are some things that we need to consider before we dismiss this.

First, this tweet happened around 2 A.M. CST or midnight PST. He lives in California, so let's go with the less outrageous idea of him posting it at midnight. That is still a crazy time to post something like that on Twitter, especially if you are just clout-chasing or trying to get some attention.

So, let's just assume that he isn't doing this for attention, especially since he doubled down in the replies section. Where would he even be getting the information from if something was happening?

As it turns out, while Todd France is his agent for NFL contracts, it is actually CAA that represents him for anything off-the-field. CAA also represents Gbaja-Biamila in his off-the-field endeavors.

If Todd France and the sports side were being tight-lipped, but Henry alerted CAA to the potential move, then AGB might have been the first person with a national audience to hear that information. That connection would explain why the information got to AGB before it got to Ian Rapoport or Adam Schefter.

Another thing that gives this rumor some legs is, this isn't the first time we have heard about the Tennessee Titans potentially moving on from Derrick Henry. Aside from the obvious fact that what is left of the prime of Derrick Henry's career no longer matches the Tennessee Titans' timeline for a potential Super Bowl run, there have been rumors all offseason that Henry was on the trading block.

So when you put it all together you have a player that has been discussed as a potential trade option from around the same time that Jalen Ramsey, DeAndre Hopkins, and Aaron Rodgers were all being put in a similar category. Now that player is starting to get linked to specific teams by people who could have access to that information.

Should the Tennessee Titans trade Derrick Henry?

While the Eagles only have six draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, four of them are in the first three rounds including two picks in the first round. That means that they are going to have the ability to move around and create more draft picks on Day 3 if they want to, but they definitely aren't going to lose sleep over moving one of those premium picks for a move like this.

If a trade does happen, there hasn't been any information on what it could cost a team to acquire Derrick Henry. However, I would advise everyone to lower their expectations because you have to remember that Henry's value to the Tennessee Titans over the last few years is not the same as it would be to a team that can't afford to give Henry 25+ carries per game.

I would also remind everyone that this is most likely Derrick Henry's last season with the Tennessee Titans. Not only would a trade give the Titans a top-100 draft pick, but it would also save them $6.3 million in cap space in 2023, $5.4 million more in 2024, and $4.7 million more in 2025. The Titans are going to be active in free agency next year with $100+ million in cap space, so there isn't any hope of Henry yielding a compensatory pick for Tennessee even if they do let him play out the rest of his contract in Nashville.

Whether the Tennessee Titans are planning on trading down in the draft, trading up in the draft, or sticking and picking at 11, having more picks and more money to set this team up for success in 2024 and beyond should be the goal. As much as it might hurt to acknowledge, there isn't a scenario where the team is better off in 2024 by having Derrick Henry play out the rest of his contract and then leave after this season.