With the Titans mathematically eliminated from playoff contention following Sunday’s 19-16 overtime loss to the Houston Texans, running back Derrick Henry allowed himself a moment to ponder a future outside of Tennessee.
The three-time Pro Bowler is set to be a free agent after the season after the four-year, $50 million contract signed in 2020 runs its course. Henry spent the season as the center of speculation he could get traded. While he brushed aside such talk and normally focuses on the present, Henry contemplated a future wearing another jersey.
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“Yeah, definitely today you had that feeling [that it could be the end of my career with the Titans],” Henry said, via Turron Davenport of ESPN. “I had hope of kind of slipping in there [the playoffs], and then being eliminated with three games left. I’ve been here my whole career. Definitely wanted to go out strong, which isn’t the case.”
Sunday’s loss marked a season-worst for Henry, who generated nine yards on 16 carries and caught four passes for 1 yard. In 14 games this season, Henry has earned 884 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 230 carries. There have been flashes of brilliance, but on balance, it looks like a player who led the NFL in carries three of the previous four seasons has finally had the workload catch up.
“I’ll try to give it my all in these last three games and leave it all on the field,” Henry said.
The Titans are projected to have the most cap space in the NFL heading into the offseason and could bring back Henry, but that will likely depend on how his market elsewhere percolates. Rookie Tyjae Spears has impressed in recent weeks and should be in line for more work in 2024, regardless of how Henry’s situation shakes out.
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