Derrick Henry + This team = Dynasty
You clicked it. Now, hear me out! Take your clicker off of the “x” and just listen! It is a real possibility. What, you say? I believe Derrick Henry could be a Baltimore Raven and bring this already winning team to a level that could be otherworld scary. How does it all go down, you ask? Well, here we go!
According to an article on Bleacherreport.com by Joseph Zucker:
“The Titans are likely to have some misgivings about giving Henry a big-money long-term deal.”
Why that is, I don’t know and really don’t care. For some reason, the team is really interested in securing Ryan Tannehill for the long term but is looking to franchise one of the two players.
Titans hope to lock him up
Tannehill had an exceptional turnaround season, which landed him NFL Comeback Player of the Year Honors. The Titans are ready to move forward with him as the future of the team, and I believe they are willing to drop the bag on the tag if need be. I mention this because if they franchise tag Ryan, that means they have to work aggressively on a deal for “King” Derrick Henry before he hits free agency and tests the market. It could happen. If you flashback to 2014, a fax-machine mishap landed the Ravens Elvis Dumervil. If people are still relying on those fossils to make deals in the 2010s and 2020s, anything can happen.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say Eric DeCosta has a few things go his way. Marshal Yanda decides to ride off into the sunset and leave $7M (according to spotrac.com) in cap saving at the door. To add to the exits, bless their hearts, but S Tony Jefferson and CB Brandon Carr get released, and unfortunately, OLB Matthew Judon goes and seeks his bag elsewhere.
Sure, that would leave a glaring hole at pass-rusher, but EDC likes to build with players on their first term contract anyway. The upcoming draft lacks pass-rushers, but if anyone can find gold, it’s the former Director of College Scouting and current General Manager.
With roughly $20M extra in cap room and a rushing champion looking for a long-term commitment, wouldn’t the smart move be to pair up the most dangerous rushing QB in the game with the most feared RB in the game? Here’s the best part. With that $21M in savings, it would only cost the Ravens around $16M per year to secure the long-term deal with Henry. I’m talking about a $64M deal that locks up what appears to be an unstoppable force for 4-years. That size of a contract would just barely edge out Ezekiel Elliott’s 6-year, $90M deal signed in 2019.
A move for the future
Yes, I’m all about that “Big Truss” and a huge fan of Mark Ingram. But at 30-years-old, how long is it going to last? However, having the “MVP Hypeman” and the current NFL rushing champion in the backfield would make the 2020 Ravens a team so dangerous on offense, the play-action would be unstoppable as defenses would fill the box with nine defenders every play. Lamar Jackson and Henry would evolve the RPO into something D-Coordinators would need couch therapy sessions and high blood pressure medication just to prepare for.
Of course, this plan would leave a few people on the outs as they would probably need to seek employment elsewhere. Gus “The Bus” Edwards is a starter in this league and deserves starter reps, just not in Baltimore. I like the guy, but it appeared the Ravens were not interested in giving the load to Edwards in the playoffs. I doubt the Ravens would release him, but a trade may come about.
There is a multitude of Ravens hitting free agency this offseason, and Eric has a great deal on his plate trying to prevent that. However, it would be nice if he could turn the Ravens into even more of an offensive juggernaut in the AFC with the combination of the Fed Ex Ground and Air Players of the Year in one backfield.