Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
Few players have had as much success as running back Derrick Henry has had against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, the Tennessee Titans are reportedly considering trading the player known as King Henry, so his reign of terror in Jacksonville might have come to an end. But what if instead of celebrating his potential departure from the AFC South, the Jags consider forging a short-term alliance with their archrival and trade for him?
Mike Silver of Bally Sports reports that Tennessee was shopping the 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. This makes sense when you take into account that the Titans might undergo a soft rebuild under newly hired general manager Ran Carthon and they’ll need cap space and draft picks to make it happen.
Tennessee would get picks and space if they traded Henry, as he’s set to count $10.5 million against their cap in 2023 but moving on from him would free up $6.26 million. It’s unknown what kind of compensation they would want for their star running back but they might be able to get a mid-round pick, maybe a second.
Henry has faced the Jaguars 13 times since the Titans made him a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and has racked up 1,373 yards with 13 touchdowns on 260 carries. Even though offenses are nowadays built to throw the football, most teams would welcome a bruiser that can wear defenses down.
Think about it, the Jaguars put it all together in the second half of the 2022 season and were nearly unstoppable, losing only to the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs in their last nine games. Think about how good they would be if Henry joined them.
Even though Henry might not be as dominant as he was in 2020, when he racked up 2,027 and 17 rushing touchdowns on 378 carries, he still got gas plenty of gas left in the tank. Just last season, he toted the rock 349 times for 1,538 yards with 13 touchdowns.
Keep in mind that Henry wouldn’t need to be a three-down back in Jacksonville. He would instead form a backfield tandem with Travis Etienne, who also logged 1,121 yards in 2021. Head coach Doug Pederson said at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine that he would like to add another running back to the rotation and Henry would be a great pickup.
The Tennessee Titans wouldn’t trade Derrick Henry to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Let’s keep it real, it’s highly unlikely that the Titans would send Henry to the Jaguars. They want to move on from him because they want to rebuild and want additional assets, not because Henry can no longer play.
The last thing Tennessee would want is to see Henry do well in Jacksonville. That’s not the kind of thing division rivals do. Furthermore, the Jaguars might not have enough cap space to fit Henry. They just applied the franchise tag on tight end Evan Engram and accommodated wide receiver Calvin Ridley. They wouldn’t be able to trade for Henry unless he took a discount.
Then again, the Jaguars are one of the hottest teams in the league right now after exceeding expectations in 2022. They have a reasonable shot at making a Super Bowl run and Henry and other players could take less money to be part of the ride.
Of course, the Titans would first need to agree to a trade and they would probably hang up the phone as soon as they see it’s the Jaguars calling.
The bottom line is that it would be better to see Henry helping the Jacksonville Jaguars instead of running them over. The past is the past and if he’s willing to form a truce to defend a common enemy, they should give it a thought.