The Tennessee Titans were unable to lock down wide receiver A.J. Brown to a long-term extension this offseason, but they may be poised to give their other star offensive playmaker a raise. ESPN reported earlier this month that the Titans are open to a possible new deal with running back Derrick Henry, and the two-time NFL rushing yards leader was asked about the possibility after practice on Tuesday.
“It’s always good to get a promotion at your job,” Henry told reporters at mandatory minicamp. “Yeah man, I’m just trying to work through that, I’m obviously currently still under contract, and if that’s what the future holds, then yeah, that would be great.”
The 28-year-old signed a four-year, $50 million deal that included $25.5 million guaranteed ahead of the 2020 season, so he still has two years remaining on his contract. A new deal would not only keep Henry in the fold longer than two years, but also could lessen the $15 million cap hits he carries in both 2022 and 2023, per Spotrac.
When Henry signed his extension, there were people who still thought he was underpaid. Henry is the best running back in the league, and his extension moved him up to just No. 5 in terms of AAV. He is still the fifth-highest paid running back in AAV behind Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and then Christian McCaffrey, who leads everyone with an AAV just north of $16 million.
Henry’s two-year run of leading the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns came to an end in 2021, as he missed the second half of the regular season after suffering a foot injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. Still, in just eight contests, Henry rushed for a whopping 937 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was averaging 117.1 rushing yards per game before the injury. Henry did return to the lineup for the Titans’ playoff loss vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, where he rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.