Mailbag: Derrick Henry's contract future

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Happy Fourth of July weekend.

Please, may we set aside this thing where we've got to be red or blue and we can't even think about liking someone on the other side and instead all be red, white and blue while we enjoy our barbeques, fireworks and beers.


Onward to some mail!

Kenny Gore Do you agree Henry is in much the same contract situation as Marcus?? Team should consider the Franchise Tag if Henry has a good season. Many fans already love him, but I think he has not been consistent enough to extend; even if he has a good season this yr. He hasn't been consistent in any season. He always comes on strong to end the yr; while


playing down right BAD to start. We need a RB to be consistent all yr. Not just at the end of the season. He had a big 4-5 games. However, the 11-12 before that were equally as bad IMO. If we are going to continue this awful Run Heavy offense; we need a RB who can consistently perform all yr IMO.

HenryTwoHandsPK: it could wind up being pretty complicated,

If he has the big year they need from him, he will command more money than he is worth. And if he doesn’t, then he won’t be worth having.

That’s my thinking on Derrick Henry, really. I would never franchise a running back. That number was $11.2 million this year. That’s a ton for a running back who's making a $1.19 million base this season.

Only Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson make more in average per year.

The best hope for the Titans regarding Henry going forward is that he had a very good year and the market is soft for him anyway because it’s a good draft year for running backs and the teams in need all agree you shouldn’t pay big bucks for a second-contract running back.

Then the Titans could get him back at well below what he thinks his market is with an incentive-laden, team-friendly deal.

Preston Penn I’m a huge Fluellen fan so I’m excited to see him add 15 lbs to his frame and line up at fullback some. Was that something the team asked him to do or was that proactivity on his part?

PK: No one is losing or gaining significant weight on their own in the NFL circa 2019 without the team having a hand in it. So he will work a bit as a lead blocker as he continues to be a do-everything guy for the Titans. (Please, Lord, do not let the Titans’ contingent that believes a fullback solves everything for the Titans come to believe he’s going to be a full-timer and they are going back to a two-back set. They aren’t.)

Mike Vrabel absolutely loves him and said in our recent Periscope/Facebook Live that David Fluellen is a Top 5 or Top 3 guy on the team as an example of what the coach means when he says we’ll treat you the way you treat the team.

And I give Fluellen a ton of credit. He was a super low-ranking back when he first got the Nashville. He’s worked his ass off to move up the ranks. He made himself a valuable special teamer and he was moving ahead of Henry for carries last season when he suffered his knee injury.

Think about the distance that climb covered.

He’s an example the team will point to for a lot of young guys.

Debra Hussey What are the main things you watch for when camp starts? Is there anything important to be learned those first days without pads?

PK: The first days without pads are really a buildup to pads. The will always say the pecking order isn’t important and guys will rotate. But at any position where there is any intrigue, I’ll be interested in the order guys work.

If the defensive linemen are all healthy, is Brent Urban ahead of Austin Johnson right out of the gate? (I’ll be surprised if he isn’t.)

Does Kevin Pamphile continue to work as the starting right guard? How quickly does the second guy get in and is it Nate Davis? Do they flip on the second day? The third?

Who’s opposite Corey Davis in base offense at receiver? How much does that change? Is Adam Humphries operating much outside of the slot?

So player usage questions are the top things I am looking for once we know the health status of Jack Conklin and Jonnu Smith. I’m expecting Jurrell Casey and Delanie Walker are full go no question.

Chris Kaklamanis Have you observed any kind of changes from Year 1 going into Year 2 of Vrabel as Head Coach? I’m curious to know what, if any, noticeable adjustments he’s made after his first year as a head coach.

PK: This is a popular question. I don’t think the modifications he makes are going to be all that apparent to us, outwardly. For the most part, these aren’t massive overhaul things, these are subtle tweaks and adjustments.

I’m sure I will notice some along the way and we will discuss them.

Juan Delgado What prompted the new podcast Elsewhere? Digging the change of gears.

elsewhere logo squarePK: Thanks, Juan. I hope you will all check it out and subscribe. Here it is on Apple, Google Play and Stitcher.

The Zone is looking to expand into the space and invited us to pitch ideas. Mine was to deliver these solo conversations where I sort through non-sports ideas that I could never get into as deeply on The Midday 180 or at PaulKuharsky.com.

So two episodes are up. The first is about what happens when I discover something new about someone I’m fiercely loyal to that makes me take pause. The second is about how I’ve lost a lot of sunglasses in my life and only recently finally found a pair. Where do they all go?

I hope you will check them out and let me know what you think.

I’ve got several others recorded already and several ideas to take into the studio and I’m enjoying adding something different to the repertoire. I hope as my schedule cranks up it’ll still be something I can easily bang out regularly and I am anxious to build a following and hear your feedback.

Audra Martin How much do you miss me? ????

PK: So terribly. Especially when I need a strong dose of Midwestern accent!

Ivan Gregory I know this question could snowball, but who is the backup Center? I know we have some guys who play multiple positions but if Jones goes down, what happens?

PK: No snowball. It's Corey Levin. I feel like he’s pretty safe as an interior depth guy. They shifted the line one time in-game last year that wasn’t injury-driven, and that put Levin in the game at center.

Brian West Adam Rank, pissed a lot of Titans off with his 3-13 record. My thought process is 3-3 in division at least 5-3 between NFC South and AFC West. Beat Cleveland early and I believe NYJ are better but not as good as the Titans. Leaving us with a record of 10-6. What do u think?

apple icon 144x144 precomposedPK: Why do people care what Adam Rank thinks? Did any of you know who he was before this? Did you care about him before this prediction? He’s a fantasy guy. Guess what team does not have a lot of players who will be high fantasy picks?

Rumors around the league? A media type or two predicting bad things are not rumors around the league.

Vegas I'd be concerned about. Vegas knows what's what.

Look, anything can happen. But the Titans were 9-7 last year in a wild year where some crazy stuff happened. And they addressed some areas where they had to get better with proven veterans in Adam Humphries, Rodger Saffold and Cameron Wake. 

I’m not into predicting records. The Titans will win more than three games. And they need to beat the Colts to really break through.


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