News that the Tennessee Titans and Derrick Henry agreed to a four-year extension at the franchise tag deadline should be worrisome for the Houston Texans.
With the Tennessee Titans apparently agreeing to terms on a four-year, $50 million new deal with their star running back Derrick Henry — right up in the closing minutes for the franchise tag deadline on Wednesday at 4 pm EST, no less — it appears that the Houston Texans will now be tasked with trying to contain the reigning NFL rushing leader for longer than they may have otherwise hoped for.
It really did seem like the deadline was going to come and go with Henry remaining on the franchise tag in Nashville. While doing so wouldn’t have necessarily signaled 2020 to be his last year with the Titans, it obviously was in Henry’s best interests all along to get a long-term deal done — particularly since he plays running back, one of the more volatile and underappreciated positions in professional football when it comes to contracts and deals.
Since at least $25.5 million of the $50 million is guaranteed, it looks like Henry’s not going anywhere now.
This is good news is you’re a Titans fan, since the former Alabama Crimson Tide thumper had an NFL-high 5.1 yards per carry last season en route to the rushing title (1,540 yards). Along with the rejuvenated Ryan Tannehill at quarterback (also signed to a contract extension this year), it appears the Titans are all-in on challenging the Texans for AFC South supremacy.
While Houston has been much better of late at winning the division — they’ve captured four of the past five titles — Tennessee had a better season overall in 2019, advancing as far as the AFC Championship Game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Derrick Henry has been a nightmare for the Texans for years now
He had his best game of the season as a rookie in Week 17 against Houston back in 2016, rushing for a season-high 65 yards and a touchdown on a 4.3 yards per carry average that day.
In 2017, he had his second-best game of the regular season against the Texans in early December, averaging a ridiculous 9.9 yards per carry en route to rumbling for 109 yards and a score on just 11 totes.
The Texans fared better against Henry in 2018, holding him scoreless and below 60 yards rushing in both of their season meetings.
Last season, however, Henry was back to his old ways again. He had 86 yards and a 4.1 rushing average on 21 carries in Week 15, then two weeks later had a season-high 211 yards and a 6.6 rushing average on 32 carries in the last game of the regular season.
Henry also had three touchdowns in that game — and it took place in Houston.
Wednesday’s news shouldn’t sit well with the Texans or their fanbase — not so long as Henry keeps finding ways to steamroll his opponents. With the talented runner now seemingly locked up for a good while in a Titans uniform, he could be a thorn in Houston’s side for years to come now.