NASHVILLE — If you told me two days ago that running back Derrick Henry would receive a four-year, $50M extension from the Tennessee Titans, I would not have believed it. Despite Adam Schefter’s initial report saying no deal was expected before Wednesday’s deadline, GM Jon Robinson found a way to get things done.

Buzzer-beaters are a thing in contract negotiations, too.

Current Contract (per

Derrick Henry signed a 4 year, $50,000,000 contract with the Tennessee Titans, including a $12,000,000 signing bonus, $25,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $12,500,000. In 2020, Henry will earn a base salary of $3,000,000 and a signing bonus of $12,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $6,000,000 and a dead cap value of $25,500,000.

2020 Contract details by year 26 $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $6,000,000 $25,500,000 $15,000,000
2021 Contract details by year 27 $10,500,000 $3,000,000 $13,500,000 $19,500,000 $10,500,000

POTENTIAL OUT: 2022, 2 YR, $25,500,000; $6,000,000 DEAD CAP

2022 Contract details by year 28 $12,000,000 $3,000,000 $15,000,000 $6,000,000 $12,000,000
2023 Contract details by year 29 $12,500,000 $3,000,000 $15,500,000 $3,000,000 $12,500,000


“I didn’t have any doubt at all,” said Henry in his Thursday Zoom availability. “I knew it was just a matter of time for us to come together as a group and find a situation that made everyone happy. I’m glad we were able to do that and, in the future, continue to make this team better as far as us as a collective group.”

For many, including myself, this deal was very much in doubt leading up to Wednesday’s deadline for the signing of franchise tagged players to long-term extensions. Both sides sought a compromise and Robinson, true to his word since the start of the 2020 offseason, found the common ground both sides sought. The organization said that Henry was a part of their future plans and they stuck to that line in the face of plenty of reasons not to.

The trust Robinson has built over years of work with his players payed major dividends.

Henry’s contract reflects that trust in the way it is structured. Tennessee found $4M in 2020 cap relief by lowering the 2019 Pro Bowler’s 2020 salary from $10.27M to $6M in the first year of the deal. Henry stated that, given the times that COVID-19 has brought upon us and where his contract status was, the deal just made sense for both sides to do.

And, if it allows for a near-term pursuit of free agents still available that can help the Titans advance past last year’s AFC Championship watermark, even better.

“He’s a great player, and he’s played at a high level for a while. … If he wants to come to Tennessee, you’d definitely welcome him with open arms,” Henry said of edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, whom Tennessee has been linked to. “Hopefully, if (management and Clowney are) talking, we can get something done and he can come join us. We definitely would love to have him and he can help us in a big way.”

While that level of acquisition might still seem unlikely, so to was the new contract that Henry now sports.

Lesson of this week: (almost) never doubt Titans GM Jon Robinson.

Featured Image: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.
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