In 2019, Derrick Henry put together a remarkable rushing season to propel the Tennessee Titans to the playoffs, where they made an unlikely run to the AFC Championship game.

After an instrumental performance in Tennessee's 45-26 win over their AFC South rivals the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12, Henry looks primed to carry the Titans deep into the postseason again and finish 2020 with an even more impressive statistical campaign.

Henry racked up 178 yards and three touchdowns as the Titans moved into first place in the division with five games still to play.

Last year, Henry won the rushing title with a league-leading 1,540 yards on the ground. He was also first in touchdowns (16) and rushing yards per game (102.7).

After his heroics at Lucas Oil Stadium, Henry has 1,257 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns and 114.3 rushing yards per game.

Henry, therefore, is on pace to significantly outperform what he did last season and, while he is unlikely to come close to the 2,000-yard seasons that rank among the best running back campaigns of all time, his efforts against Indianapolis were still historic.

The former Alabama star became the fourth player in NFL history with three games with at least 175 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his first five seasons, joining a list that features Jim Brown (five games), LaDainian Tomlinson (three) and Adrian Peterson (three).

Additionally, Henry now has reached 100 rushing yards in eight consecutive road games. That is tied with Chris Johnson for the second-longest streak in NFL history behind only Barry Sanders, who had 10 between 1996 and 1997.

Henry has achieved these feats running behind an offensive line that lost its starting left tackle Taylor Lewan and his backup Ty Sambrailo to serious injuries.

And a deeper dive into the numbers from Sunday suggest Henry's display was not just a product of impressive blocking from the offensive line but a reflection of how his remarkable size and speed makes him near impossible to stop.

According to the NFL's NextGen Stats, Henry averaged 7.7 yards per rush attempt on runs outside the offensive tackles. He had 146 of his 178 yards on such runs.

Few running backs of Henry's 6ft 3in and 247-pound frame have the speed to get to the edge of defenses and pick up significant yardage so consistently, and the extra value Henry added was also reflected by his performance in rush yards over expected (RYOE).

RYOE measures the difference between a player's rushing yards on a run or series of runs and the yards he was anticipated to gain.

In the win over the Colts, Henry averaged 1.19 RYOE per attempt, the eighth-highest average in the league through Sunday and third-highest among backs to receive at least 20 carries.

His season-long RYOE per attempt average of 0.7 yards is eighth in the league but the evidence from Week 12 indicates that is set to improve.

With three successive 100-yard games and four in his past five appearances, Henry is picking up steam at exactly the right time, his form sending an ominous warning to Tennessee's rivals in the AFC.

The NFL equivalent of a freight train, Henry is the undoubted focal point of a talented Tennessee offense. If he maintains the level of play he demonstrated in Week 12, the Titans will be extremely difficult to derail.

Derrick Henry's dominance continued as the Tennessee Titans comfortably beat the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL on Sunday.

Henry, a 2019 Pro Bowler, rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans' 45-26 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.

It marked Henry's eighth straight road game with 100-plus rushing yards.

He tied former Titans running back Chris Johnson for the second longest streak since the 1970 merger, as per NFL Research. Only Barry Sanders (10 games) has had a longer streak.

Henry rushed for the game's opening touchdown, carrying the ball five times for 42 yards in the drive.

He scored another two touchdowns in the second quarter, the Titans opening up a 35-14 half-time lead.

The game was Henry's third with 175-plus rushing yards and three-plus rushing touchdowns.

He joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown (five games) and LaDainian Tomlinson (three), as well as Adrian Peterson (three), as the only players in NFL history with three such games in their first five seasons.

The crucial win saw the Titans (8-3) go top of the AFC South ahead of the Colts (7-4).

Henry is the only player with 100-plus rushing yards against the Colts since 2018, and he has managed it three times.

He surpassed 5,000 career rushing yards and reached 50 rushing touchdowns in the win.

Henry entered Week 12 with the most rushing yards in the NFL this season and an average of 107.9 rushing yards per game – a career-high.

The Titans face the Cleveland Browns (8-3) in Week 13.

As the NFL's deadline for teams and franchise-tagged players to agree to long-term contract extensions came to pass, the biggest deal was the deal that didn't happen.

So while the soap opera between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys gets to air another year after the two sides failed to work out a contract that would have put the talented quarterback among the NFL's highest-paid players, a few other teams were busy locking up vital players amid less fanfare.

Derrick Henry will still be pounding the rock for the Tennessee Titans for the foreseeable future, the Cleveland Browns made Myles Garrett the league's highest-paid defensive player and the Kansas City Chiefs will have defensive lineman Chris Jones on board for what should be an extended window for another Super Bowl run.

When breaking down those aforementioned agreements, it appears all three teams were able to get good value even in what's arguably been the most volatile offseason in league history.

Let's start with Henry. On the surface, the four-year, $50 million contract the Titans gave the 2019 NFL rushing champion looks rather risky considering the often short shelf life of running backs and how a similar pact the Los Angeles Rams constructed with Todd Gurley two summers ago spectacularly backfired.

But Tennessee wisely front-loaded the deal, with most of the $25.5 million in guarantees on the books for the first two seasons, and can cut bait without much penalty after 2021 in the event Henry begins to show a steep decline.

It's not hyperbole to suggest that Ryan Tannehill's breakthrough 2019 season was a direct result of the threat Henry presented to opposing defenses as a runner. By extending their most important player, the Titans have not only given their quarterback his best chance to succeed, they've increased their chances of again contending for an AFC title for at least the next two years.

Of course, the road to an AFC championship still figures to go through Kansas City following the reigning Super Bowl champions' massive recent spending spree that resulted in 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes landing a record 10-year extension worth up to $503 million and Jones agreeing to a four-year, $80 million deal.

The Chiefs will have some tough decisions to make to get under the salary cap once the big money in Mahomes' contract kicks in after this season, but they've rightfully identified Jones, whose 24.5 sacks over the last two seasons trails only Aaron Donald for the most among interior defensive linemen, as a player to keep.

And the 2019 Pro Bowler gets the benefits of some long-term security and the chance to reach free agency at the relatively young age of 30 - not to mention the opportunity to realistically add a few more rings to his collection.

Extending Garrett may not have been an urgent matter for the Browns, as the 2017 number one overall pick still had two seasons remaining on his rookie contract, but the five-year, $125 million extension was a shrewd, forward-thinking move by new general manager Andrew Berry.

Sure, $25 million a year for a non-quarterback is a lot of coin, but Cleveland has the most cap space in the league right now and with the way the pass-rusher market has been trending, that annual salary could be a relative bargain down the road if Garrett continues to produce double-digit sacks towards the latter end of the deal.

After years and years of bumbling leadership hires, the Browns just maybe have finally gotten it right this winter with the additions of two impressive young minds in Berry and new coach Kevin Stefanski.

It's still way too early to gauge the impact the coronavirus will ultimately have on the NFL's economic landscape in the coming years, but the Titans, Chiefs and Browns at least appear to have positioned themselves well for the potential pitfalls that may lie ahead.

The Tennessee Titans and star running back Derrick Henry have agreed to a multi-year contract just prior to the NFL's deadline to sign franchise-tagged players.

The Titans had until 16:00 ET to reach an agreement with the 2019 NFL rushing leader, who previously accepted his franchise tender and would have earned $10.3million this season without a new contract.

Henry's new deal with the Titans is reportedly a four-year, $50m contract.

The 26-year-old's contract is the fourth-largest active deal for a running back, behind only the Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott (six years, $90m), Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (four years, $64m) and the New York Jets' Le'Veon Bell (four years, $52.5m).

Henry – the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner – earned his big payday by leading the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards and tying for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns during a breakout 2019 regular season.

He then helped Tennessee advance to the AFC Championship game by rushing for a combined 377 yards in the Titans' upset playoff wins at the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

Henry's rushing yardage total was the fourth-highest in a season in franchise history, and the most since Chris Johnson led the NFL with 2,006 in 2009.

A second-round pick by Tennessee in the 2016 draft, Henry is the second significant offensive player the team has locked up with a long-term deal this offseason. The Titans were able to re-sign starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118m contract in March.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will play the 2020 NFL season on a one-year exclusive franchise tender after he and the team failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract by Wednesday's deadline.

Prescott had already signed his tender offer and will earn approximately $31.4million for the upcoming season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, unless the Cowboys opt to again place the franchise tag on him - a move that would count over $37m towards the 2021 salary cap.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection is one of 10 players who have signed their franchise tenders but were unable to come to terms on multi-year contracts with their respective teams. Two others, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, have yet to sign their offers.

The Tennessee Titans were able to agree to a reported four-year, $50m contract with 2019 NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry just prior to the deadline, while the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs locked up defensive lineman Chris Jones with a four-year, $85 million deal on Tuesday.

Along with Prescott, Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree, Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Matthew Judon, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney and New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams will play under the franchise tag in 2020.

Ngakoue has publicly declared his intention to no longer play for the Jaguars and has requested a trade, though the team has yet to find a suitable offer for the standout edge rusher.

NFL.com reported on Tuesday that Prescott had turned down a multi-year offer from the Cowboys that would pay him between $33 and $35m annually and included over $100m in guaranteed money.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old is coming off a stellar 2019 season in which he established career highs of 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes while directing the NFL's top-ranked offense in terms of total yards per game.

Negotiations between the Cowboys and Prescott were likely impacted by the recent 10-year, $450m extension the Chiefs gave to 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes that reset the top end of the quarterback pay scale.

Judon is currently slated to earn the second-highest salary among the group unable to land multi-year deals after he and the Ravens agreed to a $16.808m offer, a compromise between the tender rate for a defensive end and linebacker. Barrett, Dupree and Williams have filed grievances arguing they should be designated as defensive ends, which carries a higher tender value than linebackers or defensive tackles.  

The Tennessee Titans and star running back Derrick Henry have agreed to a four-year, $50million contract just prior to the NFL's deadline to sign franchise-tagged players, according to NFL.com.

The Titans had until 16:00 ET to reach an agreement with the 2019 NFL rushing leader, who previously accepted his franchise tender and would have earned $10.3m this season without a new contract.

Henry's new deal is the fourth-largest active contract for a running back, behind only Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott (six years, $90m), Carolina's Christian McCaffrey (four years, $64m) and the New York Jets' Le'Veon Bell (four years, $52.5m).

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner earned his big payday by leading the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards and tying for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns during a breakout 2019 regular season. Henry then helped Tennessee advance to the AFC Championship game by rushing for a combined 377 yards in the Titans' upset playoff wins at the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

Henry's rushing yardage total was the fourth-highest in a season in franchise history, and the most since Chris Johnson led the NFL with 2,006 in 2009.

A second-round pick by Tennessee in the 2016 draft, Henry is the second significant offensive player the team has locked up with a long-term deal this offseason. The Titans were able to re-sign starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118m contract in March.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry signed his $10.2million franchise tender, the NFL franchise announced on Thursday.

The move ensures 2019 Pro Bowler and Titans star Henry is officially under contract for the 2020 season.

Tennessee have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal to replace the franchise tag.

On Wednesday, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said: "I think any time a player, when you have to use the tag on them, that's something that ideally they probably don't want.

"But still, at the same time, I know that he wants to be a part of this football team and I thought it was good that they communicated back he does want to be here, and he does want to keep working on this thing.

"It wasn't something like, 'OK, well, I'll take the [tag] and I'm done, or I am just going to do whatever.' He wants to be here, and he conveyed the message to me, through his agent, that he wants to keep working on this thing and we do, too."

Henry led the NFL in rushing in 2019, finishing the regular season with 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns as Tennessee made the playoffs.

The 26-year-old also played a pivotal role in their run to the AFC Championship Game, going for 182 and 195 yards respectively in upset road wins over the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.

Derrick Henry will be remaining in Tennessee after the Titans placed the franchise tag on the running back, according to reports.

The decision to keep the 26-year-old is hardly a surprise after he led the NFL in rushing in 2019, finishing the regular season with 1,450 yards and 16 touchdowns as Tennessee made the playoffs.

Henry also played a pivotal role in their run to the AFC Championship Game, going for 182 and 195 yards respectively in upset road wins over the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Kansas City Chiefs ended their Super Bowl hopes, but the Titans have opted to retain the core of their offense.

They announced on Sunday that quarterback Ryan Tannehill has signed a four-year contract extension, a move that not only seemingly ends speculation linking them with Tom Brady but also cleared the way for them to use the tag on Henry.

While Henry is staying put, fellow running back Devonta Freeman is now a free agent after being released by the Atlanta Falcons.

Freeman recorded 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016 but has struggled since signing a five-year, $41.25million contract in 2017.

He played just two games in 2018 due to injury, while his final campaign with the Falcons saw him finish with a career-low average of 3.6 yards per carry as part of a rushing attack that struggled.

As well as Freeman, Atlanta are also cutting cornerback Desmond Trufant. The moves will save them just under $8.5m in cap space ahead of the 2020 season, which officially starts on Wednesday.

 

 

Derrick Henry was keen to praise the collective effort rather than take individual praise after starring in the Tennessee Titans' Divisional Round upset win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Titans were physically a step above of the top-seeded Ravens in a 28-12 triumph that booked a Conference Championship berth.

Running back Henry made history by becoming the first player in NFL history to finish with 180 or more rushing yards in three consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Henry rushed for 195 in total and threw a three-yard touchdown pass in a fine showing, but the 26-year-old said the win was a mark of the efforts of the whole team.

"I am more happy that we won [than making history]. The stats and all of that stuff is good. But we got the win, and we are advancing. That's the most important thing to me," Henry told reporters.

"It's not just me. It's a team effort. We're all playing collectively as an offense, as a whole. We're just locked in. We believe in each other. We communicate. It's working out there."

Head coach Mike Vrabel added: "They handed me a sheet that said, 'the only player in NFL history...'

"Whatever comes after that is pretty much self-explanatory when it's the only player in NFL history. It's fun to get to coach him."

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill described his team-mate as a "special" talent and explained what makes Henry so unique.

"He's special. I think he is special because he has the size that is extremely rare in a running back. But he also has the speed to go with it," Tannehill said.

"So he has the size to run those two or three-yard runs that are physical when there's no hole. He's getting the yards to keep us ahead of the chains.

"But also if he breaks free and gets past the first level, he has the speed to take it 60 or 70 yards, which is extremely rare and what makes him special."

Derrick Henry is off the Tennessee Titans' injury report ahead of the big Week 16 game against the New Orleans Saints, but Adoree' Jackson and Adam Humphries have been ruled out.

The trio all missed practice on Thursday, and there was mixed news on the fitness front the following day.

Star running back Henry - a key piece in the Titans' offense - looks to be available against the Saints after he was not listed.

The 25-year-old has 15 touchdowns this season and was selected to the Pro Bowl this week but had been dealing with a hamstring issue.

While Tennessee will be boosted by Henry's involvement, there were blows at cornerback and wide receiver.

Jackson, out since December 1 with a foot problem, was a limited participant on Wednesday but missed practice on Thursday and was then downgraded to out.

Humphries has an ankle injury and is also unavailable, while defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons is questionable due to a knee ailment.

Running back Derrick Henry, cornerback Adoree' Jackson and wide receiver Adam Humphries all sat out practice for the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.

The Titans (8-6) are second in the AFC South after losing to division rivals the Houston Texans last week, with a tough test against the New Orleans Saints to come on Sunday.

Tennessee face the Texans again in Week 17, and need wins, but the status of three key men for the weekend is in doubt.

Henry has 15 touchdowns this season and was selected to the Pro Bowl this week, yet he has been dealing with a hamstring injury and did not participate after a limited practice on Wednesday.

However, Henry had not practiced all week before playing against Houston, and he said he would be available against the Saints "as long as my leg is not halfway off".

"I just want to make sure I am doing the right things to get back to 100 per cent," he said of sitting out.

"I'm just listening to the trainers and the coaches, and when I am able to get back out there, I will get back out there."

Jackson had been back in limited practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a foot injury on December 1, but he joined Henry on the sidelines the following day.

Coach Mike Vrabel explained: "We're just trying to work him back in there and see what his availability can be for us this week. It may be a third-down role - we'll see how he comes out of practice."

Humphries' issue is with his ankle, giving the Titans a tense wait ahead of Sunday's crunch clash.

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