Derrick Henry on Ravens’ Super Bowl chances, being shunned by Cowboys

OWINGS MILLS — When free agency was about to open this year, running back Derrick Henry saw Dallas and Baltimore as potential landing spots if he didn’t re-sign with the Titans.

He lived in Dallas during the offseason, so it would have made sense logistically to sign with the Cowboys. However, the Ravens showed the most interest, and general manager Eric DeCosta was determined to bring him to Baltimore after failing to acquire him at the previous trade deadline.

The decision was easy because Dallas never made a serious offer.

“When free agency started, [the Ravens] were No. 1 on my radar because they had been showing love since the trade deadline,” Henry said on The Pivot podcast hosted by former NFL players Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder. “I knew that once free agency started, I wanted to work something out if we could — even though I’m living in Dallas and Dallas being a perfect situation as well because we lived there and wouldn’t have to move.

“At the same time, Ravens, the history of it, and then talking to Ray [Lewis] at the Pro Bowl, his passion about the organization, his impact there and how he talked about it, I was like,’ If I’m not in Tennessee or I don’t get to go to Dallas, I’d love to be a Raven.’ I’m glad it worked out.”

At age 30, Henry is on the back end of his career, and his focus is on winning a Super Bowl to boost his legacy as one of the best running backs in the history of the NFL.

He is confident the Ravens give him the best chance to win a title, especially with two-time NFL MVP Lamar Jackson at quarterback. The duo of Henry and Jackson should give opposing defensive coordinators headaches throughout the 2024 season.

“I’m happy I’m going somewhere where they’re hungry for it and they’re right on the cusp,” Henry said. “They’re always in the conversation, and I know Lamar wants one really bad, so I ain’t going somewhere where the expectation is just, ‘we’re gonna see what’s going to happen, let’s make the playoffs and try and make some noise.’

“They’re trying to win it. And being so close and losing that [AFC championship] game to Kansas City, I know they’re hungry, I know they’re going to come in with the right mindset and let’s get to it.”

The Ravens had the top running attack in the NFL last season. The addition of Henry makes them even stronger.

Henry has appeared in 119 regular-season games, totaling 9,502 rushing yards and 90 touchdowns on 2,030 carries (4.7 average). He has added 1,458 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 155 receptions (9.4 average), while also throwing four touchdowns.

“I’m ready to come in and be that added piece to it to help spring them forward any way I can, helping Lamar and taking some of the pressure off him in any way,” Henry said. “The big thing is being around some dawgs. I’m excited for the opportunity.

“Another reason why it played a big part: the last time the Ravens won the Super Bowl it was in New Orleans, and the Super Bowl is in New Orleans this year. So, hopefully, this year comes full circle.”

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