The Titans have more than a month to reach an extension agreement with Derrick Henry, but they are not putting off talks until the deadline nears — a common franchise tag practice.
GM Jon Robinson confirmed he has engaged in talks with Henry’s agent over the past two weeks, according to TitanInsider.com’s Terry McCormick (on Twitter). The most recent call occurred this week.
This represents a positive development for these parties. The Titans slapped the tag on Henry in March, and the reigning rushing champion signed it in April. Should Henry and the Titans not agree to the long-term deal both sides prefer by July 15, the fifth-year back is locked into a $10.278MM salary.
Tennessee drafted Appalachian State’s Darrynton Evans in the third round but remains intent on signing Henry to an extension. Evans may cut into Henry’s workload more than Dion Lewis did last year, but that could be a bonus for the bruising back’s longevity. This will be Henry’s age-26 season.
Henry is coming off one of the better contract years in recent memory, tacking two dominant playoff performances — in road wins over the Patriots and Ravens — onto his rushing championship. The former second-round pick has been one of the league’s best backs over the past season and change, beginning his breakout late in the 2018 campaign.
Henry also profiles as one of numerous extension-eligible running backs around the league, joining the stacked class of 2017 along with Cardinals transition-tagged back Kenyan Drake and 2018 UDFA Phillip Lindsay among key backs now up for new deals. Henry’s will be a key piece on an uncertain market.