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Tennessee Titans, rushing champ Derrick Henry reach 4-year, $50M deal

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July 15 (UPI) — The Tennessee Titans signed star running back and 2019 rushing champion Derrick Henry to a multiyear contract, the team announced Wednesday.

League sources told ESPN and NFL Media that Henry and the Titans reached an agreement on a four-year, $50 million deal. According to ESPN, the pact includes $25.5 million guaranteed.

The Titans confirmed the long-term contract but didn’t disclose financial terms of the agreement. The franchise has now signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Henry to new deals this off-season.

Henry and the Titans got the deal done only hours before the NFL’s deadline for extensions with franchise-tagged players. According to ESPN, the agreement marked a change in plans, as the sides weren’t expected to reach a long-term deal by Wednesday’s 4 p.m. EDT deadline.

Earlier this off-season, Henry indicated that he wanted to remain with the organization.

“I want to stay with the Tennessee Titans,” Henry told the team’s official website. “They are the ones that took a chance on me — 31 teams passed on me in the draft and they selected me. I have a lot of love for Tennessee. I have a lot of love for everyone in that organization.

“And we have grown from the time I got there. [In 2016] we just missed the playoffs, [in 2017] we got into the playoffs and went into the second round. This year we went to the AFC Championship. We have grown as an organization and as a team and I think that speaks volumes for the direction we’re headed.”

Henry’s contract — which averages about $12.5 million per year — makes him the league’s fifth-highest-paid tailback, behind only the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey ($16 million), the Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), the New York Jets’ Le’Veon Bell ($13.1 million) and the Houston Texans’ David Johnson ($13 million).

Henry, 26, won the league’s rushing title with 1,540 yards last season. Of all NFL running backs with at least 200 carries in 2019, his 5.1 yards per carry was the highest in the league.

The Titans selected Henry — the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner — in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Alabama. The 2019 Pro Bowl selection has recorded 3,833 yards and 38 touchdowns on 804 carries in his career, with 57 receptions for 578 yards and three receiving scores.

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