The Titans replacing Derrick Henry with Tony Pollard, AP source says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are replacing four-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry with Tony Pollard.

Tennessee general manager Ran Carthon started his rebuild Monday on the first day of the NFL's bargaining period. People familiar with the deals spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because free agents can’t officially sign until Wednesday when the new league year begins.

The first big move came by replacing Henry with Pollard. He and the Titans agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told the AP.

The Titans also worked to shore up their secondary and bulk up the middle of the offensive line.

They agreed with Cincinnati cornerback Chidobe Awuzie on a three-year deal for $36 million with $23 million guaranteed, another person familiar with that contract told AP. Denver center Lloyd Cushenberry agreed to a four-year deal for $50 million with $26 million guaranteed, another person familiar with that deal confirmed to AP.

The Titans drafted running back Tyjae Spears last season, and he was the backup to Henry. The eight-year veteran, who turned 30 in January, is poised to hit free agency Wednesday for the first time in his career.

Pollard, 26, was a fourth-round pick by Dallas in 2019 out of Memphis. He has had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Cowboys using the franchise tag on Pollard for the 2023 season. The Cowboys declined to tag Pollard for a second straight season.

He ran for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns and also had a career-high 55 receptions for 311 yards in 2023. Pollard has 3,621 yards rushing in his career on 762 carries, averaging 4.8 per rush. He also has 176 receptions for 1,319 yards and five TDs.

Henry led the NFL in carries with 280 and trailed only the 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey in yards rushing in 2023.

He's one of only eight players to run for at least 2,000 yards in a season and is tied for 13th in NFL history with 90 rushing TDs. He leaves short of Eddie George's franchise rushing mark of 10,009 yards.

Awuzie will reunite with new Titans coach Brian Callahan after spending the past three seasons in Cincinnati when Callahan was the Bengals offensive coordinator. Awuzie, who began his NFL career in Dallas as the 60th pick overall out of Colorado in 2017, has started 74 of 86 games.

He has six career interceptions, four forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles.

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Cushenberry will be a big upgrade in size over undrafted free agent Aaron Brewer. He was one of only three Titans to start every game in 2023. Cushenberry was a third-round pick out of LSU in 2020 and started all 57 games he played in Denver.


AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.