Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry signed his $10.2million franchise tender, the NFL franchise announced on Thursday.

The move ensures 2019 Pro Bowler and Titans star Henry is officially under contract for the 2020 season.

Tennessee have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal to replace the franchise tag.

On Wednesday, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said: "I think any time a player, when you have to use the tag on them, that's something that ideally they probably don't want.

"But still, at the same time, I know that he wants to be a part of this football team and I thought it was good that they communicated back he does want to be here, and he does want to keep working on this thing.

"It wasn't something like, 'OK, well, I'll take the [tag] and I'm done, or I am just going to do whatever.' He wants to be here, and he conveyed the message to me, through his agent, that he wants to keep working on this thing and we do, too."

Henry led the NFL in rushing in 2019, finishing the regular season with 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns as Tennessee made the playoffs.

The 26-year-old also played a pivotal role in their run to the AFC Championship Game, going for 182 and 195 yards respectively in upset road wins over the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.

Derrick Henry will be remaining in Tennessee after the Titans placed the franchise tag on the running back, according to reports.

The decision to keep the 26-year-old is hardly a surprise after he led the NFL in rushing in 2019, finishing the regular season with 1,450 yards and 16 touchdowns as Tennessee made the playoffs.

Henry also played a pivotal role in their run to the AFC Championship Game, going for 182 and 195 yards respectively in upset road wins over the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Kansas City Chiefs ended their Super Bowl hopes, but the Titans have opted to retain the core of their offense.

They announced on Sunday that quarterback Ryan Tannehill has signed a four-year contract extension, a move that not only seemingly ends speculation linking them with Tom Brady but also cleared the way for them to use the tag on Henry.

While Henry is staying put, fellow running back Devonta Freeman is now a free agent after being released by the Atlanta Falcons.

Freeman recorded 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016 but has struggled since signing a five-year, $41.25million contract in 2017.

He played just two games in 2018 due to injury, while his final campaign with the Falcons saw him finish with a career-low average of 3.6 yards per carry as part of a rushing attack that struggled.

As well as Freeman, Atlanta are also cutting cornerback Desmond Trufant. The moves will save them just under $8.5m in cap space ahead of the 2020 season, which officially starts on Wednesday.

 

 

Derrick Henry was keen to praise the collective effort rather than take individual praise after starring in the Tennessee Titans' Divisional Round upset win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Titans were physically a step above of the top-seeded Ravens in a 28-12 triumph that booked a Conference Championship berth.

Running back Henry made history by becoming the first player in NFL history to finish with 180 or more rushing yards in three consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Henry rushed for 195 in total and threw a three-yard touchdown pass in a fine showing, but the 26-year-old said the win was a mark of the efforts of the whole team.

"I am more happy that we won [than making history]. The stats and all of that stuff is good. But we got the win, and we are advancing. That's the most important thing to me," Henry told reporters.

"It's not just me. It's a team effort. We're all playing collectively as an offense, as a whole. We're just locked in. We believe in each other. We communicate. It's working out there."

Head coach Mike Vrabel added: "They handed me a sheet that said, 'the only player in NFL history...'

"Whatever comes after that is pretty much self-explanatory when it's the only player in NFL history. It's fun to get to coach him."

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill described his team-mate as a "special" talent and explained what makes Henry so unique.

"He's special. I think he is special because he has the size that is extremely rare in a running back. But he also has the speed to go with it," Tannehill said.

"So he has the size to run those two or three-yard runs that are physical when there's no hole. He's getting the yards to keep us ahead of the chains.

"But also if he breaks free and gets past the first level, he has the speed to take it 60 or 70 yards, which is extremely rare and what makes him special."

Derrick Henry is off the Tennessee Titans' injury report ahead of the big Week 16 game against the New Orleans Saints, but Adoree' Jackson and Adam Humphries have been ruled out.

The trio all missed practice on Thursday, and there was mixed news on the fitness front the following day.

Star running back Henry - a key piece in the Titans' offense - looks to be available against the Saints after he was not listed.

The 25-year-old has 15 touchdowns this season and was selected to the Pro Bowl this week but had been dealing with a hamstring issue.

While Tennessee will be boosted by Henry's involvement, there were blows at cornerback and wide receiver.

Jackson, out since December 1 with a foot problem, was a limited participant on Wednesday but missed practice on Thursday and was then downgraded to out.

Humphries has an ankle injury and is also unavailable, while defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons is questionable due to a knee ailment.

Running back Derrick Henry, cornerback Adoree' Jackson and wide receiver Adam Humphries all sat out practice for the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.

The Titans (8-6) are second in the AFC South after losing to division rivals the Houston Texans last week, with a tough test against the New Orleans Saints to come on Sunday.

Tennessee face the Texans again in Week 17, and need wins, but the status of three key men for the weekend is in doubt.

Henry has 15 touchdowns this season and was selected to the Pro Bowl this week, yet he has been dealing with a hamstring injury and did not participate after a limited practice on Wednesday.

However, Henry had not practiced all week before playing against Houston, and he said he would be available against the Saints "as long as my leg is not halfway off".

"I just want to make sure I am doing the right things to get back to 100 per cent," he said of sitting out.

"I'm just listening to the trainers and the coaches, and when I am able to get back out there, I will get back out there."

Jackson had been back in limited practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a foot injury on December 1, but he joined Henry on the sidelines the following day.

Coach Mike Vrabel explained: "We're just trying to work him back in there and see what his availability can be for us this week. It may be a third-down role - we'll see how he comes out of practice."

Humphries' issue is with his ankle, giving the Titans a tense wait ahead of Sunday's crunch clash.

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