Jump to content
ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Ravens Insider: Ravens, running back Derrick Henry reportedly agree to 2-year deal in free agent blockbuster


Recommended Posts

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said two weeks ago at the NFL scouting combine that he had “a plan” for the team’s running back needs. Tuesday, it revealed itself in a big way.

Former Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry has agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with Baltimore, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, in a blockbuster free agent signing that instantly upgrades the Ravens’ backfield to a level it hasn’t seen since the days of Jamaal Lewis in the early aughts and Ray Rice in the years that followed.

The deal could be worth up to $20 million and includes $9 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.

“Flock Nation I swea it’s up !” Henry wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Henry, 30, is a four-time Pro Bowl selection, including this past season, who led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. He became just the eighth running back in league history to surpass 2,000 rushing yards in a season during his All-Pro 2020 campaign as he finished with 2,027. His 9,502 career rushing yards rank second in Titans’ history, 507 yards behind Eddie George and nearly 1,000 more than Pro Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell.

His addition gives the Ravens one of the sport’s most dynamic backfields with Henry lining up alongside quarterback Lamar Jackson, a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player, including this past season.

Before the signing, Baltimore had only three running backs — Justice Hill, Keaton Mitchell, who is only three months removed from a torn ACL, and second-year player Owen Wright — on its roster.

Monday afternoon, on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period and the unofficial start to free agency, other options fell by the wayside with several available backs agreeing to sign elsewhere, including now former Raven Gus Edwards, who bolted for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Meanwhile, the Ravens waited patiently — as they often do — and made only a few moves that were largely expected.

Last month, they re-signed veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor to a one-year extension. Last week, they re-signed Pro Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Madubuike to a four-year extension worth a reported $98 million. Then early Monday evening, they agreed on a one-year extension with linebacker Malik Harrison, a versatile edge-setting defender whose biggest contributions were on special teams.

After Saquon Barkley went to the Philadelphia Eagles, Josh Jacobs went to the Green Bay Packers, Tony Pollard went to the Tennessee Titans, D’Andre Swift went to the Chicago Bears and Austin Ekeler went to the Washington Commanders, among other moves, the Ravens got their guy.

Henry had 1,167 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns to go with 28 catches for 214 yards last season and has topped 1,000 yards five of the past six seasons. The only time he didn’t was in 2021 when a broken bone in his foot caused him to miss the final eight games. He still finished with 937 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Despite his age and his prime years likely behind him, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound nine-year veteran is still one of the game’s most bruising runners, ranking eighth among 49 qualifying backs in yards after contact per carry (3.32) last year, according to TruMedia.

Still, there are questions about how much longer he’ll be able to maintain his elite form and battering style.

After averaging 5.1 and 5.4 yards per carry in 2019 and 2020, those numbers dipped to 4.3, 4.4 and 4.2 each of the next three seasons, respectively, though some of that could be attributable to the Titans’ offensive line struggles. Henry has also been durable, missing just one game over the past two seasons.

How he’ll fit in the Ravens’ shotgun-heavy, run-pass option scheme also remains to be seen, but he’ll also perhaps be the greatest running back to wear a Ravens uniform.

Rice, who played six seasons for Baltimore before being released in 2014 after he was seen on video assaulting his then-fiancee, had 6,180 yards on 1,430 carries along with 369 catches for 3,034 yards and scored 43 touchdowns. Lewis, meanwhile, had 7,801 of his 10,607 career rushing yards in Baltimore, including 2,066 in 2003.

What kind of impact Henry can have behind what is expected to be a revamped offensive line and amid a slew of free agent and coaching departures remains to be seen, but Baltimore’s acquisition of one of the game’s most talented and punishing runners provides plenty of deserved optimism for a team that had the NFL’s best record last season and got within a game of the organization’s first Super Bowl appearance in more than a decade.

This story will be updated.

Falcons Titans Football
Titans running back Derrick Henry is the type of player who would have an immediate impact and be a major upgrade for the Ravens.
John Amis/AP
Former Titans running back Derrick Henry runs out of the tunnel before a game against the Falcons last season. (John Amis/AP)

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...