The Henry decision and his future.

I wrote a comment some time ago (promoted to the front page by Guru) about my thoughts on Henry called "Recent News Appears to Clear Henry".

The link is here:

I went after three major points in that comment/story.

  • My history in fields as diverse as medicine and athletics tells me that just about everyone with a positive test is guilty.  However, the facts of this case made me think that Henry was one of those VERY rare individuals that seemed innocent.  I based this on multiple tests after the "positive", as well as some of his behaviors that didn't fit neatly with the typical guilty person.
  • I pledged to support the decision of the NFL no matter what the finding.  It places the NFL in an awkward position to rule in favor of an appeal against itself, but the NFL did so.
  • Henry should be judged by his play, now that his name has been cleared.
We have a lot of great minds here at MHR.  There's two sides to almost anything, and I'll get into one side of Henry in a moment (his playing ability).  But I hope that we can all come together and agree that if the NFL truely felt (after weighing all of the evidence) that Henry's test was indeed accurate, they would have everything to gain and nothing to lose by suspending him.  Henry's evidence must have been very compelling.  The NFL denies that they weighed other test results, but the writing seemed to be on the wall.

If we can set aside the issue now that the man deserves to be judged based on his drug use / lack of use since he joined our franchise (and the ruling clears him), we can now turn to what I think is a reasonable debate.  Namely, what should Henry's future be with our team?

First, I think we should consider his season as a whole.  When he was healthy he did an excellent job.  When he was injured (and all of our RBs have suffered injuries that kept them off of the field) he didn't play or didn't play well.  A lot of folks will want to judge him on the fumbles in the last game.  But Coach Shanahan admited that Henry probably wasn't healthy enough to play and shouldn't have probably played.  When he wasn't injured he led the league.

He also isn't limping on a recurring injury.  He hurt a knee, and on another occassion it was his ribs.  There is no reason to believe he is finished because of any recurring injury.

Second, Henry is the only true "one cut power" runner on the team.  If you are worried about red zone TDs then you want a short yardage back like Henry.  If you want a change up back that opens up the game for the fast backs, as well as for the bootleg and the passing game in general, you want Henry.  Keeping Henry for at least another year also lowers the cap hit we would take if we cut him.  If you want to bring in youth in the offseason you don't want the hit.

In short, I would argue that Henry may or may not be a liability.  But there is NO reason to cut him before next season.  He may return to NFL dominant form as he did the first few weeks.  If he does, I want him on my team.  If he doesn't, a trade next season to a team desperate for a solid RB gives us much more in return than a cut, which gives us nothing but cap penalties.

When a winning team like ours suddenly finds itself in a losing season a lot of fans will want an overhaul.  Fire the head coach, fire the assistants, fire all or most of the players, "blow the whole thing up".  For those who work on the inside and have millions riding on the decisions they make, this won't happen.  I'm afraid Henry will get lumped in this category too of firing everything in site (and somehow thinking that a de facto expansion team will rise to glory anytime soon).

Setting aside a positive test that has been ruled to have not happened, and setting aside injuries that can happen to anyone (thank God it wasn't Cutler), the man is an NFL leading back based on the stats when he has played a full game.  I say we give the man until next year.

Adams, Shoate?  Not so much.  I expect a lot of turnover in the offseason.  I don't expect a blow up.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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