The Tennessee Titans used the franchise tag on Derrick Henry one day after locking Ryan Tannehill up with a four-year deal.
But Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu feels that situation is backwards, as he notes that Henry should have gotten a long-term deal because of how important he was to the Titans’ offense in 2019.
Las Vegas Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown agreed.
Now, it must be pointed out that giving Henry the franchise tag doesn’t mean the Titans won’t sign him to a contract extension at some point. In fact, the team can continue to work on a deal with the running back until July 15.
Tennessee was working against the clock with Henry, as a failure to franchise tag him with no long-term deal in place by the tag deadline on March 16 at 11:59 a.m. ET would have meant Henry hits the open market.
The argument for Henry deserving a long-term deal just as much and if not more than Tannehill is a legit one, and not just because he led the league in rushing yards last season.
The sheer threat of Henry carrying the rock opened things up for the play-action passing game, where Tannehill thrived to the tune of a league-best play-action passer rating of 140.6. That was a big reason why Tannehill revived his career in what was his best season as a pro.
Of course, thanks to the fact that the position has been devalued over the years, combined with the fact of how important the quarterback position is in today’s NFL, the moves with Tannehill and Henry aren’t surprising.
Hopefully a contract can get hammered out at some point and this doesn’t lead to Henry holding out to start the season.