NASHVILLE – Derrick Henry put pen to paper Thursday.
The Tennessee Titans hope it’s not the last time this year.
The NFL’s 2019 rushing champion signed the one-year, non-exclusive franchise tender with the Titans on Thursday, which guarantees him a one-year, $10.278 million contract for 2020.
The non-exclusive tag afforded him the opportunity to negotiate with other teams, but the Titans had the right to match any offer he would have received. His decision to sign ensures his return to Tennessee and backs up general manager Jon Robinson’s assessment a day earlier that Henry wants to remain with the franchise that selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The sides continue to work toward a long-term extension. The deadline to reach an agreement on such a deal is July 15. After that, Henry will have to play the coming season on the deal he signed Thursday.
The club formally announced the move Thursday afternoon.
\Henry led the NFL with a career-high 1,540 rushing yards and tied for the league lead with 18 touchdowns (16 rushing, two receiving) in 2019. His 446 rushing yards in the postseason also were most in the NFL.
He is the only running back in the league with a 200-yard game each of the last two seasons. He rushed for 238 against Jacksonville in 2018 and 211 against Houston in 2019, when he had three of the top 11 individual rushing performances.
“I’d like to (see) him get a deal just because I have a lot of confidence in him and what he can do,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said recently. “But, excited to have him back. He’s an integral part of this team, this offense, and I know he’s going to do great things for us this year.
“Very excited to have him back and like I said, know he’s going to be a special player for years to come.”