Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is one of the NFL Top 100 players in 2023 and he was floated heavily this offseason in NFL trade rumors. However, the market for his services reportedly wasn’t what Tennessee expected.
As the Titans began shedding payroll this spring, cutting several veterans, they shopped their All-Pro running back around the league. Before Dalvin Cook was released, Henry was the best running back available this offseason.
- Derrick Henry contract: $16.36 million cap hit (2023), $10.5M base salary
However, for as ard as Titans’ general manager Ran Carthon shopped Henry around the league, the trade market for the two-time NFL rushing yards leader never developed.
“Derrick Henry was out there for anyone. ‘You wanna come get Derrick Henry? Great, come get Derrick Henry. Never happened. There was no interest out there.”Charles Robinson on the trade marker for Derrick Henry this offseason
The Titans were ready to move on from Henry, identifying an opportunity to create $11 million in cap space by designating him as a post-June 1 trade. However, they quickly learned what many running backs around the league are currently experiencing.
- Derrick Henry stats (career): 8,335 rushing yards, 78 rushing touchdowns
Teams are no longer comfortable rostering running backs who are among the highest-paid NFL players. With more quality running backs entering the league every year through the NFL Draft, perennial Pro Bowl selections who make $10-plus million per season are falling out of favor.
The Minnesota Vikings experienced the same thing with Cook, spending months trying to find a trade partner but a deal never materialized. Ultimately, Minnesota cut its leading rusher over the past four seasons and is moving forward with Alexander Mattison.
While Henry won’t be cut, the nonexistent trade market for his services this offseason doesn’t bode well for his future. He’ll be 30 years old next January and with over 2,000 career touches in the NFL, a majority of teams will likely pursue younger, healthier options in the 2024 NFL Draft.