Just when it looked like a quiet offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles, one Saturday online rumbling has the league bracing for a potential NFL shakeup involving the NFC champs and perennial Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry.
Latest NFL Rumors Surrounding Derrick Henry
Former NFL defensive end Akbar Gbaja-Biamila alerted NFL fans on social media that the Tennessee Titans’ 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year is heading to the Eagles. Gbaja-Biamila then stuck to his words as one fan believed he was lying, saying, “just remember who told you first.”
Gbaja-Biamila isn’t exactly an NFL insider. In fact, his more prominent media roles involve him being the co-host of the CBS Show “The Talk” as well as the NBC prime-time show “American Ninja Warrior.” However, there are reasons for NFL fans to take his work seriously.
For starters, the 43-year-old’s agent is Todd France from CAA Sports — which happens to be the same agency that represents the three-time Pro Bowler Henry. That gives off the indicator that Gbaja-Biamila has either overheard or has been inside the same room as Henry when it comes to his 2023 plans.
Henry has become a topic of trade discussions throughout the offseason. Titans general manager Ran Carthon aimed to fan the flames of trade talks heating up on March 29, claiming that the franchise and Henry remain “in a good place” in a conversation with ESPN Titans reporter Turron Davenport.
However, Pro Football Network’s Trey Wingo revealed on April 14 that he heard the Dallas Cowboys were potentially interested.
“The way Derrick plays and the size, it’s eventually going to catch up to him. If someone wants to take him on, I’ve heard the Cowboys [are] potentially interested, but it would have to be at their price, not Derrick Henry’s price,” Wingo said.
What Could an Eagles Offense With Henry Look Like?
The very thought of Henry being added to an offense that was first in rushing touchdowns last season has to be just as frightening as that violent stiff arm Henry has.
Even more alarming for defenses who would have to game plan for the Eagles if Henry is inserted? The Eagles would add needed muscle for short-yardage situations — plus face a Henry who would likely be fresher coming off the sidelines.
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The Eagles were already a fast-paced ground system that began with trusting the legs of Jalen Hurts, then Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott taking the rest of the oxygen from defenders trying to contain their ground game. Sanders, though, is off to the Carolina Panthers. Gainwell and Scott — at 5-foot-9 or under — don’t have the stature to be 25- to 30-carry backs every week.
Having Henry on board would give Philly someone who can perform the dirty work in punishing the front seven, while Gainwell, Scott, and Hurts can draw more perimeter one-on-ones with cornerbacks and safeties on carries.
Henry’s presence additionally advances this dimension: The play-action deep ball to DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown.
Are the Titans Rebuilding?
The Titans are trekking downward from being the team that clinched the AFC’s top seed in the 2021 season.
Tennessee went from 7-3 to losing out on winning the AFC South by falling in their final six games — including the season finale at Jacksonville that decided the division. Now, they enter the draft with just six picks, starting with the 11th overall selection. Their odds of winning Super Bowl 58 aren’t high either, with the fourth-lowest odds to win it all (+8000).
Along with Henry, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been his own subject of trade chatter. NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah suggested on the “Move the Sticks” podcast with Bucky Brooks on April 14 that Tennessee should trade up to No. 3 and take a QB in that spot that currently belongs to the Arizona Cardinals.
There’s more added fuel on Tannehill’s Nashville future with the draft a week away. Per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network on April 10, the Titans met with potential first-round selection Will Levis of Kentucky. PFN’s Wingo has the Wildcat as his No. 4 ranked passer for this draft class. Meanwhile, PFN’s Tommy Garrett has Levis projected to land at No. 10 to the Houston Texans in his Friday first-round mock draft, which involves a trade with the Eagles.
On the Eagles’ end, they, too, hold six draft picks, including two in the first round. Now, if Gbaja-Biamila’s report holds true, perhaps the Eagles would be sacrificing one of those selections to the Titans if it means snatching Henry.