NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Derrick Henry said he never had any doubt that he and the Tennessee Titans would work out a long-term deal.
His new contract shows that General Manager Jon Robinson wanted, as he said all along, to keep Henry in a Titans uniform long-term.
In this current coronavirus landscape, Henry took a deal that paid him a guaranteed $25.5 million, rather than playing a year under the franchise tag for $10.27 million and hoping he could get more later.
"It's a crazy time right now. A lot of uncertainty. Nobody knows what's going to happen two to three months from now or a year from now,” Henry said. “My agent and my team thought it made sense to go ahead and get it done."
Henry said he plans for both he and the team to build on last year's run to the AFC championship game. He's coming off a league-best 1,540 yards rushing in 2019. He's run for 38 touchdowns in 62 career games.
And, if you pay attention to his social media posts, the 26-year-old has done nothing but grind this summer.
"I always prepare my body through the off-season so that when that moment and opportunity comes again, I'm ready for it and play at the best of my abilities,” Henry said.
This contract represents not only a reward for what Henry's accomplished, but also the belief that number 22 will continue to grow into a leader on the team that he's now become the face of.
"Just keep being myself. Keep working and improving and competing with my teammates. I just go with the flow and if I need to do those things as far as speaking up and being more vocal or anything, I'll do that,” Henry said.
WATCH LIVE: Titans RB Derrick Henry on contract extension https://t.co/cTyRtTdKEj— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) July 16, 2020
Henry's contract will count only $6 million against the salary cap in 2020, leaving more than $23 million of cap space for the Titans to use on other free agents.
It is possible that money could be for Jadeveon Clowney.
"If he wants to come to Tennessee, we would definitely welcome him with open arms. We would love to have him," Henry added.