The Tennessee Titans have rode Derrick Henry all the way to Wild Card weekend. The former Heisman Trophy winner has been absolutely brilliant in the 2019 season, finishing the regular season as the NFL’s leading rusher, and being the only back in all of football to eclipse the 1,500-yard rushing barrier.
Henry’s superb play has come at the perfect time, in what is a contract year for the 2019 Pro-Bowler. While some teams may be wary to hand out a hefty paycheck for a running back entering his second contract, there will be more than enough team’s knocking on the door the second legal tampering opens up for the 2020 Free Agency.
Follow the Heavy on Fantasy & Betting for all the latest betting news, odds, and picks
Top 5 Landing Spots For Henry in Free Agency
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Henry to Pittsburgh is the least likely scenario on this list, but one that makes arguably the most sense. James Conner proved unable to stay healthy this season. When he was on the field he was adequate at best, losing touches to Benny Snell. Conner will be entering the final season of his rookie contract and the team will need to decide if they want to re-up him. Instead of paying Conner, why not pay Henry? Either way, both of them in the fold for 2020 would improve the Steelers putrid offense tenfold. Pittsburgh wins off of defense, add in a dominant run game, and the Steelers can prove to be a viable threat in the AFC.
4. New England Patriots
Sony Michel has played solidly over recent weeks, but he’s still taken a noticeable step back from where he was a season ago. A lot of that has to do with the fact that New England tends to randomly go away from the former first-round back from week-to-week. This move is still highly unlikely. However, Belichick did throw money at Corey Dillion years ago, and in return, it earned him a Super Bowl. We also remember the success Legarrette Blount had in New England. Henry is essentially a suped-up version of Blount. If New England wants to prolong Tom Brady’s career, a bulldozing back such as Henry would only help.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones showed flashes in his second professional NFL season. However, he still remains inconsistent as an every-down back. Speaking of inconsistent, no player in the league defines this term more than Tampa Bay’s quarterback Jameis Winston. If the Bucs stick with Winston, they’ll need to revamp their offensive approach if they have any hope of winning with him at the helm. That means not attempting the most passes in football, but instead handing the ball off to a player such as Derrick Henry 20-odd times a game to develop a well-balanced offense for Winston to thrive in.
2. Miami Dolphins
Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin are not featured running backs in this league. All signs point towards the ‘Phins wanting to select Tua Tagovailoa in this year’s upcoming draft. The best way to protect a young, not to mention injury-riddled, quarterback is to let him hand the rock off 25+ times a game to his bell-cow back. Miami has the most cap space in all the NFL, in return, they should have the least concern out of any team on this list about handing out big money to a running back.
1. Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill has stolen plenty of headlines of late in Tennessee, and rightfully so, he’s played out of his mind. However, the Titans are still a run-first team, and they’ll go as far as Derrick Henry’s legs can take them. The wear-and-tear on such a big-bodied, high-volume runner such as Henry would cause many teams to pause before handing out a pricy contract. However, let’s remember that this is the same team that gave DeMarco Murray a massive deal two years removed from his 449 touch season. The Titans are building something special in Tennessee, however, it’ll all be for nothing if they don’t lock-up their key-cog for the future.