The Tennessee Titans have franchise-tagged running back Derrick Henry, but his future in Nashville is still unclear for now.
Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill were the two main reasons why the Tennessee Titans made it all the way to the AFC Championship. Yesterday, Tannehill received a very lucrative contract extension, and today, the Titans moved a step closer to keeping Henry but didn’t lock him in long-term.
The Titans used its non-exclusive franchise tag on Henry, which will keep Henry with the Titans for at least a few more weeks. The non-exclusive tag allows Henry to negotiate with other teams if he wants, and the Titans have the option to match any offer Henry receives.
A refusal to match any offer would subject the Titans to potentially losing Henry and net the franchise two draft picks.
This adds an interesting dynamic for Henry’s future. If there’s a team willing to pay a crazy number for Henry, they would have to make an offer that they believe is worth paying Henry and losing two first-round picks.
That means for at least the next two years; Henry will need to overperform for that franchise and carry the load of what a current first-round pick would along with performing equally to what his contract offers.
The return on investment for a team willing to give up two first-round picks and potentially a $100 million contract isn’t huge for Henry, so the likelihood of that happening is small.
Henry also has the option to play this season on the tag, which also seems unlikely as he should look for a long-term deal. If Henry plays this season on the tag, then he will make $10.278 million for the season.
A lot of teams might look at Henry and think that what they have to give up might not be worth losing to get Henry, and there aren’t many players that it would be worth losing two first-round picks to get, but Henry isn’t on that list for most teams.
On the other hand, this gives the Titans a great opportunity to continue negotiations with Henry and not have to worry about losing him for good.
Henry led the league in rushing last year, so the Titans know what they have, and they probably don’t want to lose him. The Titans have the opportunity to bring back most of the offense and run it back for the 2020 season.