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Titans Re-Sign Derrick Henry

Certainly, this time signing a running back to a big-money second contract will work, right? Actually, this contract may not be that bad. Henry becomes fifth at the position in average annual salary, not first. The four-year deal is worth $50 million but only $25.5 million of that is guaranteed, which isn't that much more than Henry playing on the franchise tag for two seasons.

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24 comments, Last at 20 Jul 2020, 3:37pm

1 Shylo

As a fan I love it, although my brain is a bit wary. He's been mostly durable, with the hamstring issue late last season the only real injury worry.

2 I think Henry's agent did…

I think Henry's agent did him a good deal here.  The writing's been on the wall for running backs once they finish their first contract.  Guaranteed money on a team-friendly deal is so much better than signing an inflated value deal that the agent can tout, but the player doesn't see a chance of seeing the big-money years of it.

3 It's not even THAT team…

It's not even THAT team-friendly. Henry gets two full guaranteed seasons earning more than he would've under the franchise tag before hitting the "option" years when he can decide whether he wants to take a pay cut or hit FA again. Not bad, not bad.

It's a great contract... for a RB.


4 And the way we have seen…

And the way we have seen certain individual running back values nosedive recently (David Johnson, Bell, Gurley), why are we assuming Henry will be worthy of the franchise tag again next season?

6 Exactly, the only way the…

Exactly, the only way the Titans win this bet is if Henry both stays healthy and remains worthy of the tag next season AND then plays well enough the season after to be worth about 12 million in salary to keep. That's not a great bet, IMO. There's very little upside to this contract as opposed to letting it play out with the option of another tag and negotiation next year.

7 Didn't seem to learn from Dion Lewis

Having to cut him halfway through his 4 year deal (but Henrys total is >2x more, more guaranteed money ($25.5m) alone than Lewis total contract ($19.8m he could've earned had he not been cut)). 

And since he's gone now, and in general with big paydays, he'll solely be the man. No splitting carries whatsoever. So if teams "figure him out" to any degree without his all pro RT, this could turn ugly.

And that's if Tannehill keeps it up and I'm skeptical of that too. 

9-7 4 straight years and they seem to just want to run it back like the Chiefs or even the 49ers which is honestly sorta baffling to me. They can make the playoffs (in a mediocre division and with playoffs expanding) but I don't see a real road to success beyond that. So they'll pedal around in purgatory with a simply alright team. Idk seems like a weird direction to take imo

8 Last year was pretty much…

Last year was pretty much their ceiling and its not clear they are going to reach that again. Tanny played way above his norm. Ditto for Henry. And the defense made all of the timely plays they could to get them to the title game. In cold math terms, the right move would be to franchise Tanny, let Henry walk and spend where they can at upgrades elsewhere. That probably has a higher mean win projection than the road they have taken here. 

11 Echo on Tanny

I think Henry has a better chance to repeat himself (in the regular season at least). But then again, RBs dont matter that much when mediocre QBs get more yards pet attempt than great RBs. 

That course of action would have probably been the best but when you draft a RB that high and he's coming off a pro bowl...you write your own death sentence. Fans would've killed 'em and yeah that's not the best way to win but they dont care when people are spending hundreds on tickets and parking and they're squeaking out wins vs bad team before getting punched in the throat in the 'offs.

Hey not my team though. Casual Titan fans seem elated about a top 4 paid RB. Good for them I guess

10 He played great

But it's still hard to believe he just suddenly became a great player at 31

You'd think teams would recognize he caught lightning in a bottle and not try and push him to do it again. He'll most likely regress and I think it'll be quite apparent and significant. That doesn't mean you lockdown the most replaceable position on top of that though, hoping you can take down a more or less similar Chiefs team (and improved Ravens, even if they beat them). That's a...risky bet to bet millions (per year) on. But I guess 5th times a charm?

13 But not impossible. Rich…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

But not impossible.

Rich Gannon didn't start to figure it out until he was 32, and didn't become Rich Gannon until he was 34.

Tannehill started late and has never been terrible, despite spending most of his career mired in a talentless, poorly-coached purgatory. Which he took to the playoffs.

14 The Dolphins during the…

The Dolphins during the Tanny era weren't talentless. They were just ho hum, another middling squarely average team trapped in a division with the overlord Patriots. 

This wasn't the 2000s Raiders or the 2010 Jaguars or any iteration of this century's Browns. 

17 Philbin was bad

And Gase was even worse. Philbin was supposedly a gifted QB-whisperer. He was not. Gase was even worse. The team visibly quit on him multiple times (which is guaranteed to happen again with the Jets, bank on it) and his "philosophy" was just as incoherent as Philbin's was. Tannehill was the best post-Marino QB the Dolphins had. Granted, the next two names on that sad list are Jay Fiedler and Chad Pennington, but as "meh" as he was in Miami he towered over the garbage they trotted out before they drafted him. They panic-drafted him way too high, then had no idea what they had in him.

21 well, yeah

It was Tom Brady's division for nearly two decades.  Pennington's years coincided with the 9-7 sophomore year and the 2008 ACL year.  

How many years was Peyton Manning not the best QB in his division?  Or John Elway or Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre?  

Pennington was not a bad QB.  He had a lot of promise if he hadn't injured his arm/shoulder.  

22 I think Pennington was…

In reply to by RickD

I think Pennington was really good. He was also made of glass and healthy for about 10 games per season. That he's the pinnacle for two different teams in the division is telling -- the gap between Brady and next best is basically "Arguably the GOAT" down to JAG. I mean, who's third best? I could make a solid argument it's Ryan Fitzpatrick, who might be the next best QB for the Dolphins (Although I think it's really Tannehill) and Jets. But Holy Hell, Buffalo -- it's Fitzpatrick, Taylor, or that one Bledsoe season.

So it's not just Brady dominated the division for 20 years, it's that none of the other three teams even had a professional QB for two decades.

Rodgers had Stafford and Cutler and Favre/Cousins, and the Bridgewater/Bradford/Keenum infirmary.

Elway had DeBerg, Bono, Montana, and Gannon at KC, Fouts and Humphries at SD, Krieg and Moon at Seattle, and Plunkett on the Raiders. So that's three HOF QBs in division and the quintessential borderline guy.

Favre had two years of Rodgers and one of Brady, but also Erik Kramer's best years for Detroit and Chicago (he and Krieg are the Pennington/Fitzpatrick for this division), a Testaverde year, Brad Johnson, and Moon, Randall Cunningham, and Culpepper in Minnesota.

Manning had Marino (1998 was forever ago) and Testaverde, and Bledsoe and Brady before the split, and Schaub and McNair after it. At Denver there was Rivers, and Alex Smith, and David Carr, and Carson Palmer. The AFC South was relatively weak, but I'd still take those QBs over Pennington and Fitzpatrick.

Not all of these guys are great, but I'd take all of them over Pennington and Fitzpatrick.

20 Always outliers

Idk you're definition of terrible but he was decidedly below average.

And who was Gannon before Gannon? Was he the first? Either way it does not seem common and a pretty hard thing to bet on. Gannon was also relatively, slightly better at his time. 

23 A guy who'd been kicking…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

A guy who'd been kicking around forever before it clicked for him? Plunkett maybe, for the same team. You could squint and see Trent Green in the same light. He's probably more similar to Matt Schaub. Lynn Dickey and Erik Kramer were a lesser form of this same evolution -- there was a lot of these guys in the 80s -- failed stars.


5 Getting to carry the ball…

Getting to carry the ball and score TDs gives RB's brand recognition a lot of other guys don't get.  Being able to leverage that fame into endorsement deals and post-career celebrity opportunities may be the biggest commercial opportunity for RBs.

In other words, instead of rolling the dice on hold outs and trying to max current salary, top RBs may be better served seeking a modest amount of guaranteed money and the opportunity to get the carries and the TDs that will provide (less lucrative but steadier) long-term financial opportunities.

12 The new CBA makes holdouts…

The new CBA makes holdouts highly impractical too, so the decisions could start to get tough for some of these RBs. Henry though appears to have played this situation pretty damn well. My memory is a little hazy, but I actually think this is a better deal than any of the offers that Le'Veon Bell ever got from the Steelers - I don't think they ever offered Bell any real money that was functionally guaranteed after year one, which he would have earned under the tag anyway.

18 Celebrity status?  The only…

Celebrity status?  The only RBs with any real celebrity status were Jim Brown and OJ.  



The difference in  one year of a  "every penny" contract and a more reasonable one is probably more than most of these guys will make in the rest of their lives.  Most of these guys are highschool football coaches in 5 years.  Christ, after his Steelers tenure Willy Parker ended up a highschool RB coach (fun fact - Torry Holt is that teams WR coach. )