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What Does Ravens Signing Derrick Henry Mean for Free Agent J.K. Dobbins?

J.K. Dobbins could be the odd man out after the Baltimore Ravens agreed to a deal with former Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry.

The Baltimore Ravens made it clear at the NFL Scouting Combine that they needed more than two running backs for the upcoming season. 

After watching last season's lead back, Gus Edwards, sign with Jim Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers on Day 1 of the legal tampering period, the Ravens made their move Tuesday, agreeing to sign now-former Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry


The 30-year-old agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal that will see him join Keaton Mitchell and Justice Hill in the Ravens' running back room. And while Henry may be the first, he will likely not be the last running back to join the Ravens this offseason if last year is anything to show for it, as they carried four on their 53-man roster. 

Which begs the question: who could be the fourth running back for the Ravens? 

While Edwards has agreed to join the Chargers after his breakout season in Baltimore, the Ravens still have a chance to re-sign J.K. Dobbins

The former second-round pick out of Ohio State hasn't had the career many thought he would after leaving Columbus. After a rookie season where he rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns on 134 carries, the former Buckeye has totaled just 542 yards on 100 carries since. 

Due to injuries, Dobbins has played in just nine games in the three seasons after his impressive rookie campaign. His latest injury came in last season's Week 1 win over the Houston Texans, as he tore his Achilles after just eight carries. 

Combined with the meniscus injury he suffered in 2021, Dobbins has essentially missed two regular seasons with those two injuries alone, which doesn't account for the nine games he missed in 2022. 

This injury history makes Dobbins' future in Baltimore uncertain. Assuming Mitchell, the former undrafted rookie out of ECU who rushed for 396 yards and two touchdowns on 47 carries before suffering a torn ACL, makes a full recovery, he and Henry will likely be the Ravens' top two options.  

This leaves Hill and potentially a re-signed Dobbins to battle it out for the third spot on the depth chart. For the 25-year-old, who is looking to prove himself after three injury-plagued seasons, this may not be the best move for his career.

Instead, it seems likely that Dobbins will find a new home on a one-year "prove it" deal that could allow him to test his value in free agency again next offseason.