Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans took contract negotiations down the wire before agreeing to a long-term contract Wednesday. Despite the elongated timeframe, the bruising running back had no concerns about the deal getting done.
"I didn't have any doubt at all. It was just a matter of time for us to come to (an agreement)," Henry said Thursday in a conference call. "I'm glad we were able to do that."
The Titans agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with Henry that included a $12 million signing bonus and $25.5 million fully guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. It's a deal that pays Henry more in guarantees than he would have received on franchise tenders if he were tagged in back-to-back years (about $22.5 million). It also allows the Titans to keep their workhorse under contract for the next four years for a reasonable sum with easy outs down the road.
In short, it's a win-win for both sides.
Echoing what Patrick Mahomes recently said after signing his big extension, Henry noted that if doing his deal -- which gave the Titans additional cap space -- allows Tennessee to improve the roster elsewhere, even better.
"Really, I just thought the deal really made sense for me," Henry said. "If it gives us more room to bring in somebody else to help this team, then I'm all for it. Anytime you can improve your team at a position that we need, it's a big benefit. Hopefully, my deal possibly did it. Hopefully, we can bring somebody that can help this team and improve us more."
The big name swirling around Tennessee has been Jadeveon Clowney, the pass rusher who remains unsigned. Titans GM Jon Robinson recently said he'd have to see Clowney in person before signing him, which can't happen with current restrictions.
Henry was asked to speculate on what a player like Clowney could bring to Tennessee.
"If he wants to come to Tennessee, we'd definitely welcome him with open arms," Henry said. "Hopefully, if (management and Clowney are) talking, we can get something done and he can come join us. We definitely would love to have him and he can help us in a big way."
As for his own deal, Henry, who led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns on 303 carries in 2019, said getting a big contract won't change how he approaches games. He plans to carry the load with the same bulldozing style as before.
"I think I'm just going to keep being myself," he said. "I don't try to get too overwhelmed with the contract stuff. Just keep being myself. Keep doing what I'm doing. Just keep going out there, working, improving, competing with my teammates, keep trying to help this team get better, organization get better. That's what I'll continue to do, continue to be me."