Less than 24 hours after it was reported that a long-term deal between the Tennessee Titans and star running back Derrick Henry was unlikely, Tennessee signed Henry to a four-year $50 million contract extension on Wednesday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The deal will pay Henry $25.5 million in guaranteed money and ensures that both Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who signed a four-year, $118 million contract extension earlier in the offseason, will be around for the foreseeable future.
“I love playing with Derrick,” Tannehill said in a radio interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. “I think he played his tail off last year and should be paid. So, you know, anytime a teammate gets paid, that's something that I get excited about. Especially a guy who worked extremely hard and lays it on the line each and every week."
The 26-year-old Henry signed his one-year tender in April, ensuring his presence for the 2020 season while he and the Titans worked toward an extension before the NFL’s 3 p.m. deadline today. The deal got done just under the wire.
The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner led the NFL in carries (303), rushing yards (1,540) and was tied for first in rushing touchdowns (16) last season en route to his first Pro Bowl selection. He was also tied for the second-most runs of 20 or more yards (nine) and was tied for third among running backs in yards per carry (5.1).
Henry was the only player in the league last year to average more than 100 yards rushing per game during the regular season. He ran for 73 first downs — third-most in the NFL – and accounted for 30 percent of the team’s total offense (1,746 of 5,805 total yards) during the regular season and 53.8 percent (467 of Tennessee’s 867 total yards) of the team’s offense in the playoffs.
"Derrick is an important part of our football team," Titans GM Jon Robinson told reporters in March at the NFL combine. "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."
This post originally appeared in our sister publication, the Nashville Post.