Even if all the sports leagues have indefinitely suspended their play due to the coronavirus, that doesn’t mean that pen can’t come in contact with paper. Earlier on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans decided to lock up quarterback Ryan Tannehill with a four year $118 million contract per Ian Rapoport.
The #Titans have agreed to terms with QB Ryan Tannehill on a 4-year deal worth $118M, source says. He gets $91M in total guarantees and $62M in fully guaranteed money. A huge payday after leading Tennessee to the playoffs.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2020
This included $91 million in total guarantees which is all well deserved after taking over last season for Marcus Mariota and leading the team to the playoffs.
The signing of Tannehill shows that the Titans have committed to a particular style of offense for the foreseeable future. Take care of the football and give the ball to Derrick Henry. But there’s just one issue with that statement.
Henry still remains unsigned and will likely be franchise tagged.
Now this sounds all good and well if you are a member of the Titans front office, but after what he did last year to help knock off the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens one would think he would deserve a big pay day.
Unfortunately the simple fact of the matter is that it just makes too much sense for the Titans to not use the tag. The current salary for a franchised tagged running back is roughly $12 million which is nothing to scoff at when comparing that to the other running back’s salaries in the NFL. But what it doesn’t truly provide is security since it is basically a series of one year contracts should Tennessee use it multiple times.
Over the last number of seasons the league has seen running backs get more and more frustrated with their contract situations. Le’Veon Bell sat out an entire season and lost a good bit of money because he didn’t believe he was receiving the money he deserved. The Cowboys’ back Ezekiel Elliot threatened to do the same this past year before becoming the highest paid running back in the NFL.
And based off of his career so far why shouldn’t Henry demand the same?
In five playoff games Henry has carried the ball 118 times for 630 yards and three rushing touchdowns. That means he averages 126 rushing yards per game and over five yards per carry. And this past regular season Henry lead the league in rushing attempts (303), rushing yards (1,540) and rushing touchdowns (16).
His body of work speaks for itself and in today’s NFL he should do everything he can to get the money he deserves. What may actually help Henry in the near future is the new CBA agreement the league came to today as well.
The league’s salary cap went up $10 million dollars which gives the Titans even more wiggle room to give Henry the deal he has earned.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77