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Titans coach Mike Vrabel preaches patience when it comes to Derrick Henry’s contract

Mike Vrabel, Titans, Derrick Henry

The Tennessee Titans faced a choice this offseason: would they use the franchise tag on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, or ensure security at the position and instead use the tag on star running back Derrick Henry?

Ultimately, the Titans chose to extend Tannehill, with Henry receiving the tag and–unless an extension is reached–potentially heading to the open market next spring.

But head coach Mike Vrabel is not concerned about Henry’s future. Vrabel said Titans GM Jon Robinson has been in contact with Henry’s representatives and added the 2019 rushing champion knows how important he is to the team (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com):

“Derrick signed his franchise tender, he’s under contract,” Vrabel said. “I know that Jon (Robinson) and (VP of football administration) Vin Marino have been in contact with his reps. Having been involved with the NFL for a lot of years, getting deals done is about being patient, hopefully keeping them private and confidential. So I’m going to try to respect that, and understand that we love Derrick and he understands how important he is to our football team. Again, his leadership that grew last year, I’m looking forward, I know our team is looking for more of that this year.”

Henry not only led the NFL in rushing last season but also topped all backs with 16 rushing touchdowns while averaging a career-high 5.1 yards per carry.

The former Alabama star is a rarity in his combination of enormous size and strength as well as tremendous breakaway speed.

Tennessee has plenty of time to sort out an extension. Henry also has yet to make any sort of demand or suggest he is disappointed, which might indicate the two sides are building common ground.

The Titans invested in Tannehill when the time came. Vrabel believes management will do the same for Henry.