The Baltimore Ravens have one of the most potent rushing attacks in the NFL at the moment. Quarterback Lamar Jackson just reached the 5,000 rushing yards mark and has always felt like the lead component in the rushing plan for the Ravens.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay predicted that the Ravens could make a move in the offseason that would take some pressure off the star QB and make the Ravens rushing attack even more potent: adding Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry.
The running back market has certainly changed over the last five years, so for a 29-year-old (soon to be 30) that has logged the most carries in the NFL during that period there will be some hesitancy in signing him.
“Spotrac estimates Henry’s market value to be $9.5 million annually,” according to Kay. That is still a hefty amount in today’s running back market.
The Ravens have a few of their own free agents they need to address, so it would take some maneuvering to clear the space for Henry to join them.
Henry was drafted by the Titans in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft and was considered to be a bruiser right from the start.
Henry’s running style has always been more of a run through you rather than using speed to run around a defense, just what the Ravens need.
The Ravens Tried to Trade for Derrick Henry at the Deadline
The predicted match might not come as a surprise to Ravens fans. The team was heavily pursuing the star RB at the trade deadline before talks fell through.
The Ravens lost their starting running back J.K. Dobbins in Week 1 against the Houston Texans to a torn Achilles. Since then, it’s been a rotation of Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and rookie Keaton Mitchell toting the football.
The Ravens were rumored to be trying to upgrade the position prior to the deadline according to The Athletics’ Diana Russini.
However, the deadline came and went without the Ravens making a move.
Well, it turns out there was a potential move. According to a report from Cole Jackson of The Russell Street Report, “Per sources, the #Ravens and Titans had a deal in place for Henry. That deal was vetoed by the Titans owner.”
This was backed up by Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey on an episode of the “Punch Line Podcast with Marlon Humphrey,” from November 8. Humphrey told his co-host, “I was about 85% sure King Henry would be suiting up for the Ravens.”
It appears the Ravens were that close to adding the game-changing back.
Henry still has plenty left in the tank, considering all the wear-and-tear he has been through. The Alabama product has 739 rushing yards on 176 attempts with 6 touchdowns this season.
Henry is still averaging a solid 4.2 yards per attempt.
Ravens Running Back Room Full of Question Marks
The Ravens running back room going into the 2024 season will be in flux.
Dobbins will be a free agent and coming off a torn Achilles, so it is unclear if the Ravens would try to bring him back. Edwards will be an unrestricted free agent heading into his age 29 season.
Hill will be on the last year of his contract and has always been more of a change of pace back instead of a lead runner. Undrafted rookie Mitchell is more of a speed back than a downhill bruiser.
Henry and Mitchell would be a dynamic 1-2 punch for the Ravens (more like a 1-2-3 punch when you include Jackson into the mix).
According to Kay, “Henry should look to land with a contending team…that can pair him with a younger, more dynamic back to keep his workload down and reduce the wear-and-tear on his body.”
Mitchell would be the perfect complement with his speed rather than power to Henry. Henry would be the between the hash marks runner.
He would beat the defense into submission, get the 3, 4 and 5 gritty yards and put it in the end zone. Mitchell could then come in to give him breathers and be the homerun hitting speedster.
The rookie has impressed coaches with how he has played this season, but he has had injury problems. It is unclear how he would handle a work-horse roll, so Ravens may look to keep him more as an explosive change-of-pace guy.
What is clear is that bringing in a star like Henry would give the Ravens one of the more potent offenses in the league.