Chargers tight end Hunter Henry will sign his franchise tag on Monday afternoon, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). With that, he’ll return to the Bolts on a one-year, ~$11MM guaranteed deal.
Last month, the Chargers made Henry the first tight end to be franchise tagged since Jimmy Graham in 2014. Despite the injury concerns, the Chargers were unwilling to leave things to chance. Now, they have Henry locked in for at least one more year and they have a few months to negotiate a long-term deal with the 25-year-old. If they’re unable to come to terms, they’ll have to wait until after the 2020 season to revisit talks.
The Chargers might not rush matters – Henry missed the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL and missed four games last year with a knee injury, so they might want to see how he looks before making a major commitment.
In just 12 games last season, Henry posted career highs in catches (55) and yards (652). If he can stay healthy for a full year alongside Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Chargers will project to have one of the league’s most potent offenses. Of course, it remains to be seen who will be throwing the ball to them. For now, Tyrod Taylor is set to be the man under center.
In March, the Browns made Austin Hooper the highest-paid tight end of all-time with a four-year, $42MM deal. Soon, George Kittle is expected to take over that mantle, but Henry might not be far behind if he can stay healthy and play up to expectations.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.