Inside the Derrick Henry deal

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Titans running back Derrick Henry was due to earn $10.278 million in 2020 under the franchise tag. On Wednesday, he traded in a $10.278 million bird in the hand for a guaranteed $25.5 million.

Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Henry will be fully guaranteed to make $25.5 million over the next two years, in the form of a $12 million signing bonus, a $3 million fully-guaranteed base salary for 2020, and a $10.5 million fully-guaranteed base salary for 2021.

Henry is due to make $12 million in 2022 and $12.5 million in 2023. Those amounts are non-guaranteed.

If the Titans had tagged Henry again in 2021, he would have made $22.6 million over the next two years. For a running back with a bruising style who was on the field for only 59 percent of the snaps in 2019, that quite likely would have been a big if.

Instead, he gets $2.9 million more than the two-year franchise-tag total, with a full guarantee.

And if Henry hadn’t been tagged next year, how much would he have gotten on the open market? The current trend in the NFL seems to be that running backs don’t get big money from a team other than the team that drafted them.

Throw in the difficulties arising from the pandemic (with the possibility of a reduced cap in 2021), and it becomes even smarter for Henry to take the $25.5 million.

So it’s a great deal for Henry, given the realities of his position and the the uncertainties of the ongoing virus outbreak.

18 responses to “Inside the Derrick Henry deal

  1. The Titans should remember how the Chris Johnson contract hamstrung them for years.

  2. He would’ve gotten more on the open market but that’s usually the case.

    RBs get paid when they change the outcome of games, there aren’t many but he’s one.

    That said, you never know when that untimely injury happens (as if there is a timely injury).

    Good deal for both sides. Tannehill/Henry/Vrabel now all tied together for the next two seasons. I like all three.

  3. Honest question, how does the cap work and management of personnel if it goes down? I was under the impression that contracts are structured assuming a steady climb of the cap, do you basically need to let a lot of players go that you can’t afford at that point?

    If that is the case, it is going to be an interesting off season next year for sure.

  4. and great for the titans when he continues to produce the next couple years. dudes a physical machine. he’s only the 5th highest paid back.

  5. He was the offensive MVP. Tannehill got plenty of credit but with a running game like that it really opens up the passibg game.

  6. People are gonna hate on this deal but he deserves it. He works his butt off and he deserves to be paid

  7. I’ll be the first to cry that rbs get little love on the Nfl. But Tennessee stepped up and got a deal done and it’s a fair deal for both

  8. great deal for both sides….this is nothing like the chris johnson contract

  9. Probably the Titans overpaid, just like they did with Tannehill.
    At least it’s just for 2 years.

  10. Derrick Henry will live up to his contract, Tannehill I am not so sure.

  11. If the 25 and the 10 mill are both guarenteed he didn’t ‘trade in a bird in the hand’ to get the 25, they are both ‘birds in the hand’

  12. He almost carried the Titans to the Super Bowl. His late season run was incredible. It’s a solid payday, and rewards him for his four years of production. Good deal for both sides. Even if he’s done after 2021, he will have made $30.9M for six years of work.

  13. It’s refreshing to see him not take the route Le’Veon Bell did. Could he have gotten more? Maybe but it’s not a bad deal. It’s still $52.5M. That’s nothing to sneeze at. It seems to me he’d rather make a little less money and be on a good team instead of making a lot of money on a loser team (Bell, Gurley).

    Also, his salaries for 2022 and 2023 are quite reasonable so I don’t think he’ll have to worry about getting cut.

  14. $50 mil $25 guaranteed for the guy who could beat NE. Yet half a billion for the QB who couldn’t in KC.

  15. Of course he could get more on the open market. That is usually the case. This is a good deal for both sides and Henry gets to stay with his teammates.

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