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Titans’ Derrick Henry should’ve received an extension before Ryan Tannehill says former NFL star

Titans, Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill

The Tennessee Titans doubled down on quarterback Ryan Tannehill by giving him a lucrative payday this offseason. Unfortunately, they could not do the same for running back Derrick Henry after placing the franchise tag on him.

The Titans have caught plenty of flak for signing Tannehill to a long-term extension before Henry, given the latter’s role as the centerpiece of the offense. Former All-Pro fullback Lorenzo Neal said during an appearance on ESPN 102.5 The Game that the team should have prioritized their star running back:

“Let’s be real, Tannehill got the money but who deserves it? Who’s more valuable to that team? It’s not even close. When Derrick Henry is running hard and effectively, he’s a tough out and you saw that in the playoff game.”

There is certainly plenty of truth to Neal’s comments, given Tennessee’s recipe for success featured a heavy dose of Henry. Although Tannehill may have sparked the resurgence after taking over as the starter, there is no question about which player serves as the focal point of this offense.

Paying running backs big money in today’s NFL is considered to be taboo due to the grueling nature of the position. Regardless, Henry has proven to be one of the few exceptions by finishing the 2019 campaign as the league’s leading rusher while scoring 18 total touchdowns en route to All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.

Henry once again has something to prove to the Titans in the 2020 NFL season. Another dominant year could spur him to raise his price tag.