Last season’s NFL leading rusher signed a lucrative new contract last Wednesday.
Tennessee Titans’ running back Derrick Henry, who signed a one-year franchise tag earlier during the offseason, was rewarded with a deal that has 25.5 million dollars guaranteed up front for a 50 million dollar contract for four years. The deal makes him the fifth highest paid running back.
“I just want to go out there and be the best player I can be, the best teammate I can be,” Henry said in a zoom conference call. “I want to go out there and play at a high level. God has blessed me and my family tremendously, and I am thankful for this opportunity. I am thankful to the Titans organization for getting this done. I want to go out there and prove my worth and continue to get better.”
During his Heisman Trophy commercial shoot in Austin, TX, Henry expressed his excitement and never had any doubts on the Titans organization coming to an agreement.
“I am very excited, and happy the process is over with and now the focus is getting back to football and hopefully getting together for training camp at the end of this month,” Henry said. “I didn’t have any doubt at all. It was just a matter of time before we could come (to an agreement) where we’d both be happy and I’m glad we were able to do that. We came to a common ground where both of us could be happy.”
Henry earned the Fed Ex Ground Player of the Year and was a Pro Bowl selection for the first time in his career when he ran for 1,540 rushing yards on 303 carries. He was third overall with 18 total touchdowns and was second in the AFC and fourth overall with 1,746 yards from scrimmage. He was a eky integral part of the Titans’ postseason success as they made it to the AFC Championship Game.
“I hope we can just build on the momentum, the good things that we did last season,” Henry said. “And we need to work on things so we can be better than we were last season.”
Henry was the only running back that averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game, 102.7 last season. During weeks 10 -13, he joined Pro Football Hall of Famers: Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson,Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson as the only players to record at least 145 yards rushing with a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games.
With the contract finalized and plenty of cap room left to sign free agents, Henry hopes that Nashville can be a destination for free agents to play and help the Titans take that next step in becoming a Super Bowl contender.
“I just thought the deal made sense for me, and if it gives us more room to bring in somebody else to help this team, I am all for it,” Henry said. “Any time you can improve your team at positions that we need, it is always a big benefit. Hopefully, if my deal possibly did that, hopefully we can bring somebody in that can help this team improve us more.”