Derrick Henry’s new contract isn’t too overwhelming for the Titans.
After being slapped with the franchise tag this offseason, running back Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans finally came together.
The two sides agreed on a four-year contract during the same offseason in which Tennessee locked in Ryan Tannehill for $118 million. In a strange twist, a man who once said Ezekiel Elliott’s $90 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys was “the floor” might have taken a deal below market value.
Per Adam Schefter, Henry signed a four-year, $50 million deal with $25.5 million guaranteed. Henry’s new deal gives him an average annual value of $12.5 million, fifth among all running backs in the league.
$50 million over four years might be a bargain for Derrick Henry.
Henry would have also had the fifth-highest average value in the league among running backs if he played on the $10.8 million tag, per Over the Cap. That amounts to a pretty small pay bump for a 26-year-old coming off of a career year.
Last year, while serving as the main offensive skill position weapon on a team that went within one step of the Super Bowl, Henry led the NFL in carries, rushing yards, and touchdowns, carrying the ball 303 times for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns. Toping 180 yards in consecutive playoff upsets over the Patriots and Ravens cemented his reputation as one of the league’s best backs.
The deal also gives Mike Vrabel and the Titans the flexibility to back out of the deal should things start to go south for any reason given the structure of the contract. It’s hard to envision a more team-friendly four-year deal Henry could have signed.
Even the “running backs don’t matter” crowd has to admit this deal could have been much worse. The Titans managed to sign their quarterback and running back to four-year deals this offseason, all the while managing to pay the league’s leading rusher less than what Le’Veon Bell got one offseason ago after skipping an entire season.
Today goes to show that Jon Robinson is a master at fiddling with the salary cap.