Chargers Won’t Franchise Tag Hunter Henry

Another big name is officially hitting free agency. The Chargers will not be franchise tagging Hunter Henry, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Los Angeles tagged Henry last offseason, and although they apparently got close at one point on an extension last spring, nothing happened over the summer and he played 2020 under the tag. This one is a bit of a surprise, as many expected the Chargers to tag the young tight end again this time around. It’s not too often that a player like Henry hits the open market at the age of 26.

He should have no shortage of suitors, and will likely become one of the league’s highest-paid players at his position. The 2016 second-round pick broke out right away as a rookie, scoring eight touchdowns in his first season. This past season he had 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games.

Henry missed the entire 2018 campaign with a torn ACL, and although he’s played at least 12 games in his other four seasons, he’s also never played a full 16. This tag decision certainly doesn’t rule out a return to the Chargers, it just means the team didn’t want to be on the hook for the nearly $13MM cap hit from the tag.

If the Chargers do let him walk, they’ll immediately be in the market for a new tight end for Justin Herbert. Perhaps they were one of the teams calling on Zach Ertz recently.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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