Why Franchise Tagging Derrick Henry Was The Right Move

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Jon Robinson just made the smartest decision possible with the Henry situation. Yes, as all know and it’s been documented on numerous occasions, “Jon Robinson doesn’t over pay for players.” Tagging Derrick Henry today, after signing Ryan Tannehill yesterday to a team friendly deal yesterday, gives the team the most money possible to go out and either sign Jack Conklin or a much needed Pass Rusher like Jadeveon Clowney. There is still the chance that they bring back Logan Ryan, who most consider to be the most expendable, but seeing how he is already getting interest from teams like the Dolphins, there is no question that his market value will be sky high. The team has the reputation of rewarding players who have been good to the team, so it will be interesting to see how Jon Robinson moves forward.

As I previously wrote, the Market value for Derrick Henry was at $13.8M a year and Ryan Tannehill was valued roughly at $26.6M and to see the deals that Jon Robinson just made with them both is potentially saving the Titans over $12M in 2020 to use on other players.

The big question now for Derrick Henry is will he report to training camp. While a deal could happen between now and the beginning of the 2020 season, it’s not necessarily the best look when Henry leads the NFL in rushing and gets a measly $10.2M in 2020 while other over valued Running Backs are getting much more to do much less on the ground. As I wrote about before with, “The Running Back Paradigm,” paying running backs big deals doesn’t always work out, but also, if the Titans are able to bring back Conklin or land Clowney, I think the pick at 29, assuming they stay, is between RB or CB. There is a lot to still unfold but for anyone thinking “The Titans just screwed Henry,” I would agree, but at the end of the day – that’s the the business of the NFL on full display.

There is a common theme I am seeing about how “Tannehill should go give Henry a huge bear hug” for getting this deal. I don’t think this is a one way ordeal. Tannehill and Henry both need each other to maximize their games. Before 2019, Tannehill never had a back like Henry and it opened things up for Tannehill to show off his big arm talent. Same goes for Henry, who never had a QB to keep defenses honest and force them to account for the Play Action which gave Henry a free 2-3 yards that are up for grabs.

At the end of the day, Derrick Henry is a freak athlete, and I believe we all agree on that. However, he is still a two-down back which is what, I believe, kept the Titans from offering Henry a top-5 contract. I, as a Titans fan, am grateful for it cause again, as I said before, so many teams who have paid Backs big money find themselves shelling out a lot of cash for a one-dimensional offense. “In JRob We Trust” has been a mantra for Titans fans since he starting making big deals. My question for you, assuming you’re a Titans fan – is that still true:

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