With eight NFL seasons under his belt, Derrick Henry’s future is as murky as the team he has played for.
Free agency may be in store for Henry; therefore, January 9 will likely play a significant role in his choices.
That Tuesday, general manager Ran Carthon said that the door was not “closed” on Henry’s return, head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans was dismissed, and the four-time Pro Bowl back coincidentally did an interview for the Bussin’ with the Boys podcast.
Henry thinks he and the Titans are probably going down separate paths, even if he isn’t closing the door on remaining in Nashville.
“I’m not saying it’s closed,” Henry said in a Jan. 9 interview that was made public this week. “Yet it seems like they’re heading in a different direction. I believe that [Vrabel’s dismissal] firmly established that. That’s OK, too. That takes place. That is how the company operates. We want things to last indefinitely. Nothing works, particularly in this industry. Even if I never return, I will always be a Titan. My ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. I want to go wherever it is that offers me the finest opportunity. I have no ill will or feelings of guilt if I don’t return. It’s just what was meant to occur. We are all only living out a prewritten tale.”
Henry rushed for 9,502 yards while wearing a Titans uniform, setting a team record with 90 running touchdowns. That total is just less than Eddie George’s 10,009 in club history. Considering everything, there’s little chance he’ll come back to change the record.
The 30-year-old bully made it obvious that he wants to join a club that has a chance to win a Super Bowl, given that the Titans are about to undergo a rebuild.
“I want to be somewhere; whatever happens, that gives me the best shot at winning the Super Bowl,” he said. “The commercial aspect is the commercial aspect. Ultimately, everything must make sense. We put our bodies through a lot throughout this lengthy season, so I won’t simply accept everything at once. However, I also want to be a part of a team that can go out there, position itself, win games, make the playoffs, and challenge for a championship.”
Henry said that he was a bit shocked that the Titans lasted as long as they did, even though he knew his time with them had probably come to an end. The four-time Pro Bowler believes he was working on a trade to get out of Nashville; this idea was floated throughout the offseason of 2023 and before the trade deadline.
He said, “It felt like it was close.” “It was almost impossible. Boys, it was almost there.”
Even though it wasn’t surprising that Vrabel’s dismissal moved Henry, he was nonetheless surprised. Vrabel is well-liked in the league.
Henry said, “I’m definitely surprised.” “Yes, the last two years have been difficult, but based on his body of work so far, I believe Vrabs to be an excellent teacher. He approaches everything like a champion. He is a man’s leader. He is skilled at bringing out the best in his players.”
Henry is optimistic that Vrabel, who guided the running back and the Titans to two AFC South championships and three postseason appearances, will have plenty of opportunity.
“I’m sure Vrabs will have plenty of opportunities or another opportunity somewhere down the road,” added Henry.
Given the unusual nature of the Titans’ comeback, it could be possible for the two to reunite if Vrabel accepts a head coaching position somewhere.
For Tennessee, Henry amassed five seasons with 1,000 yards, including back-to-back running titles in 2019 and 2020, the latter of which saw him surpass 2,000 yards. For all those seasons indicated above, Vrabel served as his coach.
Henry will have to locate a competitor who is willing to pay and is looking for a large bag, perhaps temporarily.
Even though his tyres have plenty of wear, he thinks there are still miles to go.
He said, “I ain’t done playing.” “I’m far from finished performing. I still believe I can run for 2,000 more, but only time will tell.”