New Tennessee Titans Head Coach Brian Callahan Leaves Door Wide Open For Derrick Henry To Return In Free Agency
Derrick Henry is not expected to return to the Tennessee Titans in 2024. The 30-year-old running back will be a free agent for the first time in his career during the upcoming cycle and his price tag is likely too high for the team that drafted him to get a deal done— especially at his age.
Although Henry led the NFL in carries last season and ran for 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns, his numbers reflected a stark decline. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry and 4.5. yards per touch in 2023. Those were both the worst marks of his career.
Meanwhile, 2023 third-round pick Tyjae Spears emerged as a viable dual-threat option out of the backfield. The former Tulane star will anchor the running back room in Nashville moving forward. Henry is likely going to sign with a Super Bowl contender on a one or two-year (maybe three) deal.
He thanked Titans fans for the “greatest eight years of his life” after Week 18. It felt like a goodbye.
Henry later thanked the entire Titans staff by name during his final press conference of the year.
It would be a surprise if Henry was to return to Tennessee. However, it is not out of the equation!
Former Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was announced as the successor to Mike Vrabel earlier this week. He has nothing but high praise for Henry.
I think a player like Derrick Henry fits in every offense. He’s been a remarkable player. He’s been the face of the franchise for a long time. When you think of the Tennessee Titans, you think of Derrick Henry. He’s earned that.— Brian Callahan
The 39-year-old first-year head coach also left the door open for a return— if the circumstances are right!
Look, if he is open to a return that fits for us, I’m never going to say no to good players.— Brian Callahan
Callahan’s qualifier about “fit” is the key piece of the puzzle here. Derrick Henry is going to see what’s out there.
Should he ultimate decide that he wants to finish out his career with the Titans, that is on the table! Tennessee’s new head coach sees the obvious value in that scenario.
He’s an incredible leader in this building as well, which also carries a lot of weight. You can find ways to use every player. There’s no offensive system that would say, ‘I don’t like to have Derrick Henry here.’ I certainly think he has some gas left in the tank, too. We’ll see where that goes. I know he’s going to hit the market and try to see what’s out there for him, but I would never say no to a player like that if they would like to return here and it fits for us. He’s meant so much to this city that I would never dismiss that.— Brian Callahan
Only time will tell how things play out with Henry’s free agency journey. It would be pretty special if he turned down other offers to take a pay cut with the team that gave him his first opportunity.