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Titans RB Derrick Henry signs franchise tender

Derrick Henry is taking the secure option over the incredibly lucrative, at least for now.

The Titans running back has signed his franchise tender, NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported. ESPN was first to report the news.

The team later officially announced the move.

Henry led the league in rushing last season, riding a 211-yard outing against Houston to pass Cleveland's Nick Chubb in Week 17 for the crown. His regular season foretold a fantastic playoff run in which Henry put the Titans' offense on his back in two straight wins, racking up 377 yards and one touchdown on 64 carries in upset victories over New England and Baltimore.

Henry went from star to lynchpin of the Titans, as it became clear Tennessee wouldn't have reached the AFC Championship Game without the hulking runner. With his contract due to expire after the season, the timing couldn't have been better for the running back.

He's not yet cashing in long term, though, instead signing his franchise tender -- which will pay him an average of the top five running back salaries in the league, still a healthy sum, in 2020 -- in what can be plainly seen as choosing security over profitability. Henry can still come to an agreement on a long-term deal with the Titans before July 15, but with much of everyday life uncertain right now, Henry is making sure he at least knows where he'll be playing in 2020.

Tennessee will be happy to have him, especially after retaining quarterback Ryan Tannehill on a four-year deal signed in March. The Titans will officially return their starting quarterback and running back to an offense that came within a win of the Super Bowl, setting Tennessee up for another possible run in 2020.

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