Jul 29, 2023; Nashville, TN, USA; View of helmets on the field as Tennessee Titans players finish training camp practice. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in his NFL career, Derrick Henry could soon find himself a member of a team other than the Tennessee Titans.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Titans are not expected to place their franchise tag on Henry. As a result, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner will become an unrestricted free agent who is free to sign with any other team when the NFL’s new league year begins on March 13.

While it’s always possible that Tennessee could re-sign Henry, all indications appear to be that the two sides will be going their separate ways after the Titans also fired head coach Mike Vrabel following the team’s disappointing 2023 season. Following Tennessee’s Week 18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 30-year-old running back addressed the crowd at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, thanking fans for their support during his eight years with the Titans.

Selected out of Alabama in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Henry has consistently been one of the league’s best running backs during his time in Tennessee. His 9,502 career rushing yards are the most of any active NFL player and the four-time Pro Bowl selection has twice led the league in rushing, including in 2020 when he rushed for 2,027 yards — the fifth-highest single-season total NFL history.

While Henry has amassed significant wear via more than 2,000 rushing attempts over the course of his eight seasons in the league, he has managed to remain a productive player. In 2023, he rushed for 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns in 17 games and he is just one year removed from rushing for 1,538 yards in 16 games in 2022.

At this point in his career, one would imagine that Henry would be best suited to join a contender. In hitting the open market, he’ll join a crowded running back free agent class that is also slated to include Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard and Austin Ekeler.

[Adam Schefter on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.