Buffalo will receive 2006 draft pick in return
Although the Travis Henry-to-Tennessee deal initially appears to cloud the fantasy outlooks of both Henry and Chris Brown, the transaction could give Henry's fantasy value a big lift at some point during the 2005 season.
To read more of Scott Engel's Fantasy take, click here.
The deal, announced by Bills president Tom Donahoe, ended a standoff after Henry vowed not to play the final year of his contract with Buffalo next season.
Henry, the Bills former starter, did not attend the team's minicamp sessions last spring, unhappy after losing his job to Willis McGahee in October.
"We're really glad that it's over," Donahoe said. "Tennessee gave us the best offer and gave us really what we were looking for."
In wishing Henry well, Donahoe said he didn't want the disgruntled player's status to become a distraction once the Bills report for training camp July 29.
"We're really not interested in having players here that don't want to be here. It just creates a distraction," Donahoe said. "The focus should be on the football team. It shouldn't be on individuals, on contracts, players that are disgruntled. ... I think it's good for our team that this is out of the way."
In granting Henry's trade demand, the Bills provided the running back a homecoming of sorts after he played his college career at Tennessee. He is the Volunteers' career leading rusher with 3,078 yards -- an average of 5.5 yards per carry.
Henry agreed to a multiyear contract extension with the Titans on Tuesday. He'll be introduced at a news conference on Wednesday.
Terms were not immediately available.
Donahoe said the Titans had agreed to the deal in principle last Tuesday and that the NFL had approved the terms of the deal Friday. It was first reported Saturday by ESPN.com senior writer Len Pasquarelli.
The Titans need a capable alternative to two-year veteran Chris Brown, who hasn't played an entire NFL season because of injuries. Brown is hurt again, recuperating after breaking his right hand during a mini-camp practice in May.
"The combination of Chris Brown and Travis Henry puts us in elite company in terms of talented backfields," Titans general manager Floyd Reese said Tuesday. "I don't know that it will matter who starts, because I envision both players making significant contributions throughout the season."
Henry, Buffalo's second-round pick in 2001, is a capable player, who enjoyed 1,300 yard rushing seasons in 2002 and '03. Henry missed only one game in 2003 despite nursing a rib injury and a broken bone in his right leg.
Henry had 326 yards rushing in five starts last season, and missed the final five games with torn ligaments in his right ankle.
Donahoe said the Titans expressed the most serious interest in Henry over the past few months, adding that Seattle and Jacksonville also contacted the team.
Donahoe said the Jaguars' interest in Henry was inconsistent. He said the Jaguars backed out of the running on July 11. Donahoe said the Jaguars then renewed their interest the following day, but after the Bills had agreed to the deal in principle with Tennessee.
Donahoe said the Bills were adamant in getting at least a third-round pick.
"We felt we couldn't live with less than that pick, and if we didn't get that pick, we were prepared to go to training camp with him on the roster," Donahoe said. "Whether he showed up or not, that would be another issue."
Donahoe said he would have rather had Henry continue playing for Buffalo, but added the player made it clear he wanted out after last season.
"We wished that it could've worked but it didn't appear that it was going to work," Donahoe said. "We respect his feelings. We wish that it could've been different, but it wasn't."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.