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Titans signing ex-Cowboys RB Tony Pollard to three-year, $24 million contract

A major change appears underway in Tennessee's backfield.

The Titans are signing former Cowboys running back Tony Pollard to a three-year, $24 million contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, per a source. The news was first reported by KPRC-TV in Houston.

The Titians signing Pollard could simultaneously signal the end of the Derrick Henry era in Nashville. Henry is the franchise's leader in rushing touchdowns (90) and amassed 9,502 rush yards, second only to Eddie George (10,009) in Titans/Oilers history. If Henry is gone, it marks the end of a notable era.

Henry, 30, has led the NFL in carries in four of the past five seasons. But his rush-yards-per-game production has dipped each of the past three years. His age is also a factor, as well as his workload, with Henry surpassing the 2,000-carry mark last season.

New Titans head coach Brian Callahan might also be looking for a change in run style in his lead back. Henry is more of an old-school power back while Pollard is a more accomplished receiver with more wiggle.

The move is also a homecoming for Pollard, who turns 27 years old in April. He played his college ball at Memphis, having been raised around the city growing up. In five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Pollard totaled 3,621 rush yards and 23 TDs along with 176 rushes for 1,319 yards and five more scores.

Pollard was coming off a career-best season in 2022 when he was anointed Dallas' starter in the backfield. Although he totaled 1,316 scrimmage yards in 17 starts in 2023, which nearly matched his 2022 total, that production came on 75 more touches than the season before. Pollard's rushing average dropped from 5.2 to 4.0 and his receiving average dropped from 9.5 to 5.7, respectively, from 2022 to 2023.

Pollard is set to earn $24 million over three years -- the same length and money that D’Andre Swift is expected to earn with the Chicago Bears. Upgrading the rushing attack appears to be a strategy in the early goings of the offseason, as Tennessee is also signing former Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry, per Rapoport. 

The Titans have not yet publicly said Henry won't return. But if he doesn't, perhaps changes of scenery will pay off for both Pollard and Henry.

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