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Titans GM Ran Carthon says 'door is never closed' on possible Derrick Henry return

Tuesday's stunning firing of head coach Mike Vrabel put all assumptions about what the offseason might harbor in Tennessee, including the presumption that Derrick Henry played his final game with the Titans.

Speaking Tuesday following Vrabel's dismissal, Titans general manager Ran Carthon noted that any decision on Henry's future with the franchise will be discussed by himself and the new head coach.

"That will be the new head coach and I having a conversation," he said, via Jim Wyatt of the team's official website. "I had a really good conversation with Derrick yesterday on the way out. We had our conversation, which I'll keep between he and I, but the door is never closed."

Just because the door isn't closed doesn't mean it's wide open, either.

Henry hits a depressed running back free-agent market after earning his fourth Pro Bowl and generating his fifth 1,000-plus rushing-yard campaign. However, the 30-year-old back has a ton of tread on the tires. His 280 carries in 2023 weren't close to his highs -- where he toted the rock 300-plus times in three out of the previous four seasons -- but Henry still led all Titans RBs. In eight seasons, Henry has taken 2,030 carries, gobbling up 9,502 yards with 90 touchdowns.

The Titans enter the offseason with many questions moving forward in their rebuild under a new head coach. The most important issue is under center where Will Levis enters Year 2.

The likeliest path for a Henry return would be if the veteran back sees meager offers in free agency and stays with the Titans on a short-term pact. Even that would take a head coach who plans on running an offense that would fit Henry's skill set.

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