The deadline for NFL teams to sign franchise-tagged players to extensions was 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and the Tennessee Titans were able to lock up star running back Derrick Henry to a new four-year, $50 million deal right before the deadline. The contract includes $25.5 million in guaranteed money.

Henry was set to make $10.3 million in 2020 under the franchise tag, so the new deal is essentially a three-year extension that adds another $40 million with $15 million in guarantees.

The 26-year-old was sensational for Tennessee in 2019, leading the NFL in rushing with 1,540 yards over 303 carries. And he took things to another level in the postseason, with 182-yard and 195-yard rushing performances leading the Titans to upset victories over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

It’s an extension that makes sense for both sides. The Titans couldn’t risk letting Henry get away anytime soon after how crucial he proved to be over the past two seasons, and Henry gets an excellent deal for a running back, a position where lucrative contracts can be hard to come by as players get into their late 20s. It’s wise for Henry to just take that kind of offer while he can get it, when a down season or an injury could really decrease his perceived value.

And this comes after the Titans signed Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million contract earlier this offseason. While some may question the ability of the Titans — and particularly the extraordinary numbers Henry and Tannehill put up — to repeat this success, it’s understandable that the organization wouldn’t want to mess with what took them to the AFC Championship Game in January. They had little choice, even if some doubt crept in.

So, the Titans were able to beat the deadline buzzer with Henry, but many other notable franchise-tagged names were unable to reach new deals with their teams. That includes the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott.

In May, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that a long-term deal with Prescott would “ultimately get done.” That could still end up being the case, but we now know it won’t happen this year.

Prescott will play out the season under the $31.4 million franchise tag, and it’s possible he leaves the Cowboys for a massive deal in free agency. Many NFL teams are desperate to find their answer at the most important position in sports, and it’s easy to see some team giving him in the neighborhood of $40 million/year to make it happen. And if the Cowboys slap the franchise tag on Prescott again next season, it would cost them $37.7 million.

Dak’s brother Tad tweeted, “There is a reason I was never a @dallascowboys fan growing up or before they drafted @dak after today, who knows how much longer I’ll be cheering for them.”

The quarterback — who turns 27 later this month — recently turned down an offer from the Cowboys that would’ve given him between $33-$35 million annually with more than $100 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Jane Slater.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.