Alabama in the Pros

Titans release RB Dion Lewis, could this mean a huge contract for Derrick Henry?

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Even with the outbreak of coronavirus, the National Football League still plans to starts its new year on March 18.

After the deadline to franchise tag players ended on Wednesday, free agency will start next week and a lot of marquee names in the league are scheduled to hit the market. 

One of those names is Derrick Henry. 

RELATED: Derrick Henry expecting first child with long-time girlfriend, Adrianna Rivas

The former Alabama running back and 2015 Heisman winner is coming off his best season ever in the pros. He was the league’s rushing champion in 2019, totaling a career-high 1,540 yards on 303 carries with 16 touchdowns.

Henry was the NFL’s co-leader in scores and posted a career-best 5.1 yards per rush attempt.

He turned in eight 100-yard rushing performances and one 200-yard outing – en route to carrying the Tennessee Titans to the AFC Championship Game. 

Henry became the first back in league history to have three straight games of at least 180 yards. 

As the No. 45 overall selection of the 2016 NFL Draft, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors for his efforts.

According to Ian Rapoport, a national insider for NFL Network, the Titans decided to release Dion Lewis. 

This opens an opportunity for Henry to command big money. 

Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys is currently the highest-paid back at $90 million. 

Henry had the better year and got his team one game away from the Super Bowl. Even with the success Ryan Tannehill had at quarterback, do the Titans open the bank to Henry? 

The next few days will be interesting.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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