By CJ Carlson
Derrick Henry is the most recognizable player on the Tennessee Titans roster and has been for the past couple of years now. When the regular season ended a few weeks ago, Henry grabbed a microphone and gave a speech to the fans that were still in the stands following the game. The speech made it seem like he would be leaving the team that he’d spent his career with, but that wasn’t a guarantee at the time. Now, it definitely feels like he’s on his way out.
A couple of days after he made that speech, head coach Mike Vrabel was fired from his position. Vrabel’s firing made it seem like the Titans were fed up with the direction that the team was heading and are hoping to change things for the better in the future. Unfortunately, spending a ton of time redirecting a franchise would waste the remainder of Henry’s career, and he’s currently slated to be a free agent in the offseason. General manager Ran Carthon said after the Vrabel firing that the door will always be open for Henry to return and sign another contract with Tennessee.
Derrick Henry Will Always Be A Titan
After that, Henry appeared on a podcast and clarified where he stood on the subject. He made it clear that he doesn’t think there’s a guarantee that he will leave Tennessee but doesn’t think it’s likely he will stay either. He said, “I’m not saying it’s closed. But I just feel like they’re going in a different direction. I feel like [Vrabel’s firing] definitely solidified that. And that’s ok. That happens.
That’s the nature of the business. We want something to last forever. Nothing does, especially in this business. I’ll always be a Titan, even if I don’t come back. At the end of the day, I want to win the Super Bowl. Wherever that is that gives me the best chance, that’s what I want to do. I don’t have no bad blood or feel no type of way if I’m not back. It’s just what was supposed to happen. The story is already written, we’re all just living it.”
Throughout Henry’s career as a Titan, he’s been absolutely dominant on the ground. The star running back has accumulated 90 rushing touchdowns to break the franchise record and has also rushed for 9,502 yards. This is second in Titans history, trailing only Eddie George who had 10,009 rushing yards in a Titans uniform.
As much as he’s accomplished though, the Titans have only made three playoff appearances in the last six years and haven’t been able to win a Super Bowl in that span. It always felt like they’ve overperformed compared to their roster talent due to his excellence combined with Mike Vrabel’s leadership.
Henry And Tennessee Have Different Futures
The Titans are hoping to completely restart and get things sorted out for the future. This means that a new head coach is going to be brought in sooner rather than later. It also means that a new quarterback might be on the way if the new head coach doesn’t have faith in Will Levis or Malik Willis. Once those two positions are sorted out, the remainder of the roster will be getting fine-tuned for playoff contention. We might even see them part ways with star defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons as well with a commitment towards the future.
Looking at Henry’s future, he’s going to get offers from other teams, there’s no question about that. The real question is who might be interested in his services. Derrick Henry revealed last week that a trade was really close to being finalized which would have sent him to the Baltimore Ravens, a team that is currently playing in the Divisional Round this weekend. The Ravens will likely have interest in him once more when they reach the offseason, whether they win the Super Bowl this year or not.
Henry could be interested in reuniting with Vrabel wherever he gets hired as well, with the Los Angeles Chargers being a potential possibility. Once thing is for sure though, Henry isn’t retiring despite speculation that he might be looking to call it a career. He said, “I ain’t done playing. I’m not even close to done playing. I still feel like I can run for another 2,000, but that’s for the future to tell.”