Derrick Henry Finally Gets His Payday
Reigning NFL Rushing Champion, Derrick Henry, finally got his long-awaited payday. The Tennessee Titans signed Henry to a 4-year, $50 million contract this afternoon, securing the largest contributor to their offense from last season long term. Henry's contract includes $25.5 million in guaranteed money, and makes him the fifth highest paid RB in the NFL. Tennessee, with the signing of Henry, have locked up two of the largest pieces of their offense that took the NFL by storm last season; Ryan Tannehill being the second piece.
The Tennessee Titans, coming off a trip to the AFC championship where they lost to the eventual super bowl champions, are now in prime position to build on what they started last season. Rookie wide-receiver AJ Brown was the third main contributor to the offense last year with over 1000 receiving yards, meaning the Titans now have a window of a few years with a thousand yard receiver on a rookie deal, the NFL's leading rusher, and the most efficient passer in the league. Tennessee appears to be all in on attempting to win a Super Bowl in this window, and signing Henry is a very important piece of a potential Super Bowl run.
While the signing of a running back to a long-term deal may be criticized, in this case, Derrick Henry is worth it. Henry, last offseason, had gone on record saying he expected a contract in the realm of Ezekiel Elliott, and the Titans negotiated a shorter term and cheaper overall deal. Derrick Henry didn't reset the market like many running backs before him and took a relatively modest deal when compared to the likes of Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey.
2019 was the first full season Derrick Henry came into his own as a back, amassing 1,500 rushing yards and getting involved in the passing game as well with 18 receptions on 24 targets. A running back with Henry's combination of elite size and speed does not come around often, and he will continue to find success in the Titans scheme. If the Titans continue the trend they started the second half of last season, the contract will be absolutely worth it.