The Green Bay Packers have made an improbable run to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. After starting the regular season 2-5, they won seven of their remaining 10 games, including the final three, to finish 9-8. While just a one-game improvement from their 8-9 record in 2022, it was still good enough to secure the seventh and final seed in the NFC playoff picture.
The Packers then went on to become the first seventh seed in NFL history to win a playoff game. With a showdown with the San Francisco 49ers, who have ended Green Bay’s postseason four times since 2009, Green Bay is looking to extend their unlikely run.
Whether or not their season ends on Saturday or on a future date, there is no question that the 2024 Packers will have some changes to its roster. In addition to several players that could end up as cap casualties, the team will see some players depart in free agency.
One of the players that could potentially leave Green Bay is backup running back AJ Dillon. While he loves playing for the Packers and has made his year-round home in Door County, Wisconsin, his production on the field, or lack there of, have led many to believe that the team will choose to not offer him a second contract. If this is indeed what happens, Packers fans already have a replacement in mind.
Green Bay Packers Fans Want Running Back Derrick Henry Signed for the 2024 Season
Not surprisingly, the player that Packers fans want as a possible replacement for Dillon is the player that many believed he could have been when he was first drafted in 2020: four-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry:
Derrick Henry to GB next year. Who says no? @packers
— CAAM (@caamofficial1) January 17, 2024
Yes. UNLESS the Packers have a chance at Derrick Henry.
— Khalid (@ImKowabunga) January 15, 2024
Guys, hear me out. Imagine this off-season we
Sign Derrick Henry
Draft OL in the first, S in the second
Sign a kicker to compete with Anders and fix the accuracy problems(or replace him if he can’t get better)
Fire Joe Barry
Hire Wink Martindale
Packers are real contenders
— Ethan Kline (@theethankline) January 9, 2024
The Packers need to be getting Derrick Henry agent on the line. Cowboys too
— Young Delton (@DallasChuck220) January 8, 2024
Super long shot landing spot for Derrick Henry?
– GB tried to trade AJ Dillon for Jonathan Taylor
– Dillon a free agent
– Matt LaFleur was the OC for the Titans before coming to GB
– Henry is what GB wanted Dillon to be
– Perfect compliment to Aaron Jones
— Mikey – Basement Brewed FF (@BBFFMikey) January 8, 2024
Of course, it is not hard to understand why Henry would be coveted by Packers fans. In what could have been considered a “down” year in 2023, he still had 1,167 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. His bruising style of running has helped him amass over 9,500 rushing yards for his career and would make him the ideal compliment to Aaron Jones.
There is also the interesting idea of Henry having a connection to Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who was the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator in 2018.
Green Bay Packers Fans Should Not Get Their Hopes Up
The problem, though, is that Derrick Henry is going to get paid like the four-time Pro Bowler that he is. Even though the 2024 free agent class of running backs will be flush with talent, Henry is a name that stands out among the rest. He likely will set the market for free agent running backs.
While he is an aging running back, he is still one of the best in NFL. His desire to win a Super Bowl may limit the number of teams that he is interested in, and the Packers’ playoff run this year may be a selling point for him. That being said, the Dallas Cowboys also may have interest and will be able to offer him more money and a more prominent role.
If Henry were to go to Green Bay, he would split carries with Jones whereas he could be the premier running back just about anywhere else.
Signing him may be fun to think about, but it simply is not as realistic as many would like to think.