Comparing Derrick Henry's Season To The 6 Players That Earned More Money Than Him In 2020
Derrick Henry became the first player since 2012 to rush for 2,000-yards in a season since Vikings RB Adrian Pederson reached the mark. He also became the eighth player in NFL history to do it.
His 2020 season consisted of 2,027 rushing yards, 114 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. He compiled those stats while only carrying a $6,000,000 salary cap charge this season. Comparing that to the six running backs that carried a higher cap number than he did this year we can see what a tremendous value the Titans got from his play and production.
The six players to have a higher cap charge than Henry in 2020 were:
Houston's David Johnson - $11,156,250
Dallas's Ezekiel Elliot - $10,900,000
New York's Saquan Barkley - $8,597,659
Arizona's Kenyon Drake - $8,483,000
Carolina's Christian McCaffrey - $7,794,782
Broncos' Melvin Gordon - $7,000,000
In 2020 Derrick Henry had a cap value of $6,000,000.
Those six players totaled a cap charge of $53,931,691 this year.
Henry's $6-million cap figure is 11% of that above figure.
The following are the stats that these players totaled thru the 2020 season:
David Johnson 691 rushing yds / 314 receiving yds / 8 TD's / 1,005 total yards
Ezekiel Elliot 979 rushing yds / 338 receiving yds / 8 TD's / 1,317 total yards
Saquan Barkley 34 rushing yds / 60 receiving yds / 0 TD's / 94 total yards
Kenyon Drake 955 rushing yds / 137 receiving yds / 10 TD's / 1,092 total yards
Christian McCaffrey 225 rushing yds / 149 receiving yds / 6 TD's / 374 total yards
Melvin Gordon 986 rushing yds / 158 receiving yds / 10 TD's / 1,144 total yards
The above is a combined total of 5,026 total yards 42 total TD's.
In 2020 Derrick Henry's stats were:
2,027 rushing yds / 114 receiving yds / 17 TD's / 2,141 total yards
His 2,141 total yards is 40% of the total yards that those six players earned this season.
His 17 TD's are 40% of the 42 TD's that those other six players had.
So, as a whole, the Titans received 40% of the production from Henry for only 11% of the cap charge.
If we remove Saquan Barkley and Christian McCaffrey from the equation since they missed most of the season due to injury the figures are slightly better for Henry and the Titans.
Without McCaffrey and Barkley the totals are as follows:
4,558 total yards and 36 TD's at a salary cap cost of $37,539,250.
That would put Henry's yardage at 44.5% of the production as the other four RB's.
His 17 touchdowns are 47% of the TD's scored by the other four RB's
His cap charge was only 16% of the $37,539,250 that those other backs carried.
When you can get a product that's worth $100 but only pay $16 for it you can consider it a great deal. That's pretty much what the Titans got.
When you talk about it in the mega-dollar parameters of the NFL, the fact that the Titans received 47% of the production at only 11% of the cost, the deal that Henry is so far this season is even more of a bargain.
That is the equivalent of paying player $0 for the season but still getting 856-yards from that player. And also getting 17 TD's.
In comparison to those above figures, Minnesota's Adam Thielin had 940-total yards and 14 touchdowns. He has a cap figure of $12,768,750.
Chase Claypool had 889-total yards and 11 TD's. His cap figure is $1,203,025.
Mike Evans has 1,006-total yards and 13 TD's. His cap figure is $8,387,500.
Having Derrick Henry's 2020 production and his 2020 cap figure is like getting the production of one of above three guys for a $0 cap charge. Now THAT is value.
I should also point out that Alvin Kamara's 1,688-total yards and 21 touchdowns with a cap figure in 2020 at $4,076,193 is also a terrific value for the Saints.
That is only the 16th-highest cap figure of the running backs in 2020 and he ranks 3rd in yards from scrimmage behind only Henry and Dalvin Cook.
Next season, Henry's cap charge goes up to $13,500,000.
Kamara's cap charge in 2021 is only $5,000,000, so perhaps it will be Kamara who finishes the 2021 as the biggest bargain.
It's possible that Henry's contract is restructured to lower his cap number for next season, and Kamara could get a pay raise that could increase his cap number for next year, so we'll have to revisit these some time after next season.
Players with 2,000+ rushing yards in a single season:
Eric Dickerson 2,105 LA Rams 1984
Adrian Pederson 2,097 Minnesota Vikings 2012
Jamal Lewis 2,066 Baltimore Ravens 2003
Barry Sanders 2,053 Detroit Lions 1997
Derrick Henry 2,027 Tennessee Titans 2020
Terrell Davis 2,008 Denver Broncos 1998
Chris Johnson 2, 006 Tennessee Titans 2009
O.J. Simpson 2,003 Buffalo Bills 1973