The Houston Texans have a lot of options at running back but is Derrick Henry one?

Derrick Henry could move the needle in Houston, but should the Texans pursue him?

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The Houston Texans are looking for help at running back this offseason. Right now, Devin Singletary is a free agent and it's unknown if he wants to return or if the team would even have him back. He had a solid season, especially when Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans stopped playing games and made Singletary his starting running back.

But Singletary no longer has a contract with the squad, and the Texans are looking for a new feature back. It's unlikely to be Dameon Pierce, as he had such a bad 2024 that he's likely to be cut if the team needs roster spaces. So a new starter is potentially needed, especially if the Texans are hoping to compete once again for the playoffs.

Right now, the names being attached to the Texans running back spot are all big names. Your Saqoun Barkely's, and Derrick Henry's of the NFL. Barkley seems to be the best fit going forward, as he's versatile, youngish, and a playmaker with the ball in his hands. That said, Henry has a lot to offer if he's still up to par. He's bigger, harder to take down and less likely to break down simply due to his running style.

Barkley is more of a big-play, get to the edge and go type of runner, while Henry is just a dog going up the center of the defense, daring smaller defenders to take him down. Speed fades, and fades fast, but power doesn't. Henry has never been a fast runner, as he's always relied on his size and strength to power his way through arm tackles and smaller defenders. That doesn't fade, assuming he can stay healthy.

Even on a bad Tennessee Titans team, he still put up over 1,000 yards this season and that's behind a terrible offensive line. Even at 30, he's still capable of being a difference-maker, especially in an offense like the Texans, who are going to spread out defenses and allow Henry to take on a lot of smaller defensive backs in a lot of isos.

He's certainly an intriguing option, and while in theory, he's the type of athlete to age gracefully, in reality, he's been worked hard by the Titans, and it's very likely that his body further breaks down around this time. He's really only had one season of injuries that sidelined him, but it's only a matter of time before that catches up with Henry. Maybe it's not this season, but it could be soon.

Considering how important this offseason is to the future of the Texans, the club would be wiser to go with a younger back, as opposed to someone like Henry. At least at the proposed price point, he's going to be asking for. Henry shouldn't be dismissed from consideration, he just shouldn't be the first few options that the team turns to.

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