Titans’ Derrick Henry signs his franchise tender as both sides continue to work on a long-term deal


Titans running back Derrick Henry has signed his franchise tag, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini. That tag would pay the All-Pro running back $10.278 million for the 2020 season. 

On Wednesday, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said that the team would still like to sign Henry, the NFL’s reigning rushing champion, to a long-term deal. The two sides have until July 15 to come to terms on a multi-year contract. 

“I met with Derrick, as I met with all the guys whose contracts were going to be up at the end of the season and told them we were going to start working on that, which we did,” Robinson said, via the Titans’ team website. “At the end of the day we couldn’t come to an agreement on that one, so we used one of the avenues to keep Derrick because Derrick is an important part of our football team.

“I have spoken to (Derrick’s) representatives after we used the tag and we want to continue to have those discussions … in hopes of reaching some type of long-term agreement and we’ll kick those conversations off again here certainly before training camp gets ramped up and going.”

The running back market took a hit this offseason, with unrestricted free agent Melvin Gordon taking a less lucrative deal than Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell did the previous offseason, signing a two-year, $16 million deal with Denver. His former teammate Austin Ekeler, a restricted free agent, landed a four-year, $24.5 million deal with the Chargers. Both contracts do include a significant amount of guaranteed money, however, with Gordon and Ekeler receiving $13.5 million and $15 million guaranteed, respectively. 

Elliott, a two-time rushing champion, is the league’s highest-paid running back with an annual salary of $15 million. Last offseason, Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million deal that included $50 million guaranteed, according to Over The Cap. Bell, a two-time All-Pro, is second with an annual salary of $13.12 million. Henry’s franchise tag would make him the NFL’s fourth highest-paid running back next season, behind Elliott, Bell and new Texans running back David Johnson, who makes $13 million annually. 

Henry, during an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” during Super Bowl week, stated that Elliott’s contract “is the floor” in terms of what he would like to receive in a new deal. He added that he would like to remain with the Titans, who finished one game shy of the Super Bowl past season. 

“I want to stay with the Tennessee Titans,” Henry said earlier this offseason. “They are the ones that took a chance on me — 31 teams passed on me on the draft and they selected me. I have a lot of love for Tennessee. I have a lot of love for everyone in that organization.”





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