Should the Titans extend Derrick Henry?
Derrick Henry, coming off an NFL rushing title and All-Pro season, is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This offseason the Titans decided to lock up quarterback Ryan Tannehill with a four-year deal worth $118 million and used a third round draft pick to select Appalachian State RB Darrynton Evans which left many fans wondering: What about Derrick Henry?
Henry, fresh off a season full of career highs, has yet to be extended and only recently signed franchise tender worth $10.2 million back in May. The 26 year old back has yet to produce any injury concern so far in his career, shouldering a lot of the burden of the offense the last two seasons. In 2019, Henry had 303 rushing attempts, up from 215 in 2018, mostly due to the lack of production from Dion Lewis as well as the emergence of Henry as a reliable target in the passing game. As the reigning NFL rushing champion, you might wonder what's keeping the Titans from pulling the trigger and extending the contract for such a massive part of their offense.
General Manager Jon Robinson and the Titans may be weary of signing a running back to a big deal after seeing the likes of Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson, and many other high profile running backs not pan out after being signed to large extensions. Running backs don't have a greatest history of playing up to their contracts, especially in recent years. Injuries and lack of production have plagued backs who signed large extensions in the last few seasons.
Many scouts and coaches alike will quickly tell you that running backs are more easily replaceable, but with no real injury history as well as what Henry brings to the offense, I don't see how you can't extend him. Henry is on record saying he wants a deal in the realm of star Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott, but will the Titans make it happen?