No 3: Running Back Derrick Henry
Another player the Niners should avoid in free agency is Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. Henry had possibly the best season of his career last season, leading the NFL in rushing yards with 1,540. Henry is one of the best running backs in the NFL.
This season he showed that, using his size, at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds to often just run through opponents. If you watched some of the Titans games at the end of the season, you probably saw opposing defenses would basically only try to stop Henry, and ignore the rest of the offense.
And yet, Henry still succeeded.
There is no doubt Henry is one of the best running backs in the NFL, but he is not a good fit for San Francisco.
There are multiple reasons why the Niners should avoid Henry. One is the same as most of the free agents on this list: he’s too expensive. The Niners cannot afford to sign Henry at the price he is likely to go for. Especially because the Niners already have multiple running backs on the roster: Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida and Jeff Wilson. Not to mention Jerick Mckinnon is still on the roster after two seasons on injured reserve.
Additionally, there is not much of a need for Henry, as the combination of those backs was incredibly effective for the Niners this past season.
Why spend the money when what you already have is working just fine?
Finally, the final reason the 49ers should not sign Henry is that he is not a good fit for the offense. Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I am not saying Henry would not succeed in the Niners offense. He would put up great numbers and continue to bully opposing defenses.
What I am saying is Henry’s style doesn’t really fit the way 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan likes to use his running backs. Shanahan likes to use running back by committee, swapping his running backs interchangeably depending on who has the hot hand. But Henry is a bruiser, he wears opposing defenses down. He doesn’t really fit in a running-back-by-committee system.
So, since the Niners are running the ball pretty darn well with their current system, and since Henry doesn’t fit Shanahan’s style, the Niners should avoid him.