4 reasons the Buffalo Bills should avoid trading for Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry (Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
Derrick Henry (Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills, 2023 NFL Draft
Buffalo Bills, 2023 NFL Draft (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

The Draft Cost

Sure, it would be exciting to dream about Derrick Henry breaking free for long touchdowns as Highmark Stadium goes crazy. However, the cost would likely be significant. Per Spotrac, Henry’s current contract has a base salary of $10.5 million for next season. That is not an unreasonable number, however that is not the total cost. He would cost the Bills draft picks as well.

This presents two major problems for the Buffalo Bills. First, they have multiple holes to fill this offseason if they are going to be serious Super Bowl contenders next season.

Not all of the upgrades and replacements that they need can be through free agency because of their cap situation, so they need to have a good draft, likely upgrading the offensive line and wide receiver corps with rookies. Trading draft picks would narrow their margin for error in the draft, and likely make it so that they would need to add more expensive free agents to fill other holes.

The second problem with trading prospects for Henry is that it narrows their window to compete. If the Bills are going to remain competitive long-term, they need to replace aging players with increasing contracts with younger ones through the draft. In order to do that they need draft picks.

The LA Rams are a great example of a team whose window was limited because they went all-in and sacrificed significant draft capital for a chance to win a Super Bowl. The Bills need to decide whether that is the route they want to go, or whether they will build a long-term contender around Josh Allen by constantly re-fortifying through effective drafting.

A move for Derrick Henry would be an exciting all-in move for the Buffalo Bills and would make them better as long as Henry stayed healthy. In the big picture, it may make things more difficult even as soon as next year. Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott need to determine if he is the player that they go all-in on.

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