With just one day to spare before the July 15 deadline, teams are beginning to get their ducks in a row when it comes to the futures of some of their star players. While Chris Jones reportedly scored a new extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, reports also surfaced concerning players who would likely be playing out the 2020 season on the tag. Some of those players include Dak Prescott, Justin Simmons and of course Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry.
On Tuesday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Titans and Henry are not expected to reach a long-term deal by tomorrow's deadline. Henry will instead make $10.27 million in 2020, and then become a free agent next offseason. During a radio interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said that he had been paying attention to the situation regarding his running back, and also stated that Henry deserves to get paid for what he was able to accomplish last season.
"I respect Derrick. I love playing with Derrick, think he played his tail off last year and should be paid," Tannehill said, via Pro Football Talk. "So, you know, anytime a teammate gets paid, that's something I get excited about. Especially a guy who worked extremely hard and lays it on the line each and every week. So, obviously would love to see Derrick get extended and I'll be keeping an eye on that."
The play of both Tannehill and Henry was the main reason the Titans made it all the way to the AFC Championship game last season. Tannehill was awarded with the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year, and Henry led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns last season, averaging 18.9 carries a game -- even though he averaged a whomping 24.7 carries over the final nine games. The Titans averaged 30.9 points per game over this stretch, but Henry paid the price recording 25-plus carries four times, including three consecutive games recording 30-plus rushing attempts (96 total). Overall, Henry recorded 386 carries in 2020, which ranks amongst the top-25 all-time for rushing attempts in a combined regular and postseason.
Tannehill cashed in with a multi-year extension this offseason and Henry received a boost in pay with the franchise tag, but it's clear he rather would have signed a multi-year deal where he knew he was locked in with the Titans. Instead, it seems likely that he will have to revisit this situation with Tennessee next offseason.