The Titans announced the deal Wednesday, but didn’t disclose terms. They have now reached new deals with Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill in one offseason.
Henry’s contract, which averages $12.5 million per year, makes him the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid running back, trailing only the Panthers‘ Christian McCaffrey ($16 million), the Cowboys‘ Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), the Jets‘ Le’Veon Bell ($13.1 million) and the Texans‘ David Johnson ($13 million).
This agreement marked a change in plans, as a source said Tuesday that the sides were not expected to reach a long-term deal by Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise players.
Henry won the NFL rushing title with 1,540 yards last season and has posted consecutive seasons of more than 1,000 yards. Of all NFL running backs with at least 200 carries in 2019, Henry’s 5.1 yards per carry was the highest.
Henry proved a valuable part of Tennessee’s offense, especially in the playoffs.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Derrick is an important part of what we do. Derrick is an important part of our football team,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said at the NFL scouting combine in March. “Derrick had a great year for us. He led the league in rushing and built off of the second half of his 2018 season. He cares about his teammates and works hard, and he’s great in the community.”
Entering the AFC Championship Game, Henry had accounted for 69% of the team’s total offense. During Tennessee’s run into the playoffs, Henry also became the first player to rush for 180 or more yards in three consecutive games. The fourth-year running back took on more of a leadership role with the Titans last season, drawing praise from coach Mike Vrabel.
“His leadership ability improved. He became a leader,” Vrabel said after the Titans’ 20-13 playoff win over the New England Patriots. “I think he helped lead this football team and carried my message and our staff’s message into the locker room. His durability, effort and toughness allow him to be a leader. He was excited and talked to guys on the field and locker room, and they listened.”
Since being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft out of Alabama, Henry has rushed for 3,833 yards on 804 carries (4.8 YPC) and scored 38 touchdowns. He also has caught 57 passes for 578 yards and three touchdowns. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2016.