Hunter Henry

AFC Rumors: Ravens, Collins, Bengals, Henry

Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell missed Sunday’sgame against the Falcons as he continues to deal with a knee injury suffered a week prior in the team’s loss to Cleveland, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Yesterday’s absence was only his second of the season, an impressive showing for the 36-year-old who has showed a consistent sturdiness for his entire career.

The wording of Fowler’s tweet was a bit unclear. He stated that “Campbell could miss some time” due to the injury, which could be interpreted as a potential extended absence for the defensive leader. Fowler’s tweet, which came earlier this week, also questioned the status of this week’s game against the Falcons, indicating that perhaps the uncertainty of “could miss some time” was not pointed towards how much time he may miss but if he would miss time at all. Regardless, Campbell sat out Saturday’s game and, after the team clinched a playoff spot with a win, he may be able to take a little extra time to rest up for a postseason run.

The team also played without rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo yesterday. Nine months after a torn Achilles injury, Ojabo finally made his NFL debut against the Browns last week, playing one defensive snap and four special teams snaps. He wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report, but whatever Ojabo is dealing with, he returned back to the inactive list this week.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the AFC, starting with two division rival players in Cincinatti:

  • Bengals tackle La’el Collins left Saturday’s win over the Patriots with a knee injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Reportedly, initial concerns were about an ACL injury, but the ligament is believed to be intact. The new understanding is that Collins’ kneecap shifted out and then back into place, resulting in the significant pain that required him to leave the game. More tests will follow to determine the severity of Collins’ knee injury.
  • Bengals pass rusher Trey Hendrickson started yesterday for the Cincinnati defense despite his broken wrist and likely plans to continue to start for the remainder of the season, according to Paul Dehner of The Athletic. Hendrickson reportedly confirmed that his wrist is broken but explained that “multiple doctors” told him that the injury cannot worsen. He has the ability to play through the injury with no need of a club; he will have full hand and finger mobility. As long as Hendrickson can manage and play through the pain, he will be able to continue contributing to the AFC North leaders.
  • Patriots tight end Hunter Henry left Saturday’s loss with a knee injury after only one drive, according to the team’s official Twitter account. Henry was unable to contribute to the box score before leaving. Henry, who has dealt with multiple knee injuries over his career, is considered day-to-day and will undergo further tests this week. If Henry misses any time, veteran tight end Jonnu Smith would be the next man in line for snaps. Unfortunately, Smith exited yesterday’s game with a concussion, so he, too, will have some work to do to play next week. If neither player can go when the team hosts the Dolphins next week, New England may have to turn to practice squad receiver Scotty Washington who is sometimes listed at tight end, as well.

Bengals Make Three Waiver Claims

SEPTEMBER 2: To no surprise, the Bengals are indeed re-signing Allen, Thomas and Williams now that they have the open roster spots to do so, per a team announcement. Cincinnati is also placing safety Tycen Anderson and tackle Isaiah Prince on IR.

AUGUST 31: The Bengals have made some notable additions in the aftermath of yesterday’s roster cutdowns. Per the waiver wire, they have claimed tight end Devin Asiasiguard Max Scharping and defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

[RELATED: Bengals Expected To Sign TE Howard]

Asiasi came to New England with significant expectations, given his draft status and the organization’s success at the position. The third-rounder made just 10 appearances in his first two seasons, though, recording only a pair of receptions. The Patriots made a substantial free agent investment in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith last offseason, limiting his future with the team. In Cincinnati, he will face steep competition for playing time from Hayden Hurst and, in all likelihood, O.J. Howard.

Scharping is in a similar situation to Asiasi in terms of being an underwhelming high draft choice yet to finish their rookie contract. A 2019 second-rounder, the 26-year-old started 33 of the 48 contests he appeared in with the Texans, moving from the left to right guard spot this past season. Regardless of where he lined up, the Northern Illinois alum graded out in the mid-to-high 50s with respect to PFF rating, leaving him on the roster bubble. Scharping’s vacated spot is likely to be filled by A.J. Cann; he will challenge for a backup role behind top free agent addition Alex Cappa with the Bengals.

Tufele, meanwhile, has seen the least playing time of the new trio. As a rookie last season, he made just four appearances in Jacksonville, totaling two tackles. His PFF pass rush grade of 77 indicates some upside on third downs, which dates back to his time in college. Moving on from the USC alum so soon may have come as a surprise, though the additions of Folorunso Fatukasi and Adam Gotsis along the d-line were likely to significantly lessen his chance of seeing significant playing time with the Jaguars. The Bengals lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency, but re-upped B.J. Hill, whom Tufele will look to provide depth behind his new home.

The defending AFC champions will return many of the members of last season’s team, but these additions could prove effective at areas of relative need. Among the cuts necessary to accommodate the new arrivals is veteran quarterback Brandon Allen. The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal for the third consecutive offseason to remain in Cincinnati.

For now, Allen’s departure leaves the Bengals with only Joe Burrow under center. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets, however, that Allen “will be back.” Cincinnati is also parting ways with safety Michael Thomas and running back Trayveon Williams.

Patriots’ Hunter Henry To Miss Time?

Patriots tight end Hunter Henry is expected to miss “a couple of weeks” as he nurses a shoulder injury (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of Fortunately, Schefter hears it’s not especially serious, so Henry hopes to be ready in time for Week 1.

[RELATED: Patriots’ McMillan Tears ACL]

Henry inked a three-year, $37.5MM deal with the Patriots in March. The pact included $25MM in full guarantees, proof that the Pats are confident in his long-term health. However, if he misses time, the Patriots still have fellow newcomer Jonnu Smith to lead the way.

Henry missed the entire 2018 campaign with a torn ACL. He’s played at least 12 games in his other four seasons, he also never played a full 16 while with the Chargers. In 2020, Henry hauled in 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games.

Smith, meanwhile, is set to earn a whopping $50MM over the next four years with $31.25MM guaranteed. The former Titan enjoyed his best year yet in 2020, posting 41 grabs for 448 yards and eight touchdowns.

Patriots To Sign Hunter Henry

The Patriots will sign tight end Hunter Henry to a three-year, $37.5MM deal, according to’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The former Chargers tight end will receive $25MM guaranteed as a part of the deal.

Henry will join the newly-acquired Jonnu Smith, giving the Patriots the top two tight ends in free agency. Together, they’ll help to fill the long-standing void left by Rob Gronkowski‘s departure.

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. Still, the Chargers’ decision to let Henry test the open market came as a surprise. This past season he had 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. The tag would have cost them ~$13MM for one year.

The Patriots revamped offense will also feature former 49ers receiver Kendrick Bourne and ex-Raiders WR Nelson Agholor.

AFC West Notes: V. Miller, Henry, T. Brown

Here’s a quick roundup of some AFC West rumblings:

  • There is still no clarity on whether the Broncos will bring back LB Von Miller in 2021. As Mike Klis of writes, new Denver GM George Paton met with Miller for the first time last week, and Klis believes a paycut is no longer on the table. Miller is due an $18MM salary in 2021, and by March 16, Paton must decide whether to pick up an option that would guarantee $7MM of that $18MM payout. While the Broncos would prefer to have Miller take a cut, given that he missed the entire 2020 season, J.J. Watt‘s new $14MM/year deal with the Cardinals suggests that Miller would be disinclined to do so. Which means that Paton has the difficult task of deciding between a major financial hit for an aging star coming off a serious injury and releasing one of the greatest defensive players in franchise history. The good news is that Miller appears to be back to full speed, at least according to a workout video he recently posted to Instagram.
  • The Chargers decided against putting the franchise tag on TE Hunter Henry, but Henry is still open to returning to the Bolts. “I will say I’m not ruling out the Chargers,” Henry recently told TMZ Sports. “I’m not ruling out the Chargers and I won’t rule out the Chargers.” Though Henry comes with some health concerns, he is also just 26 and still has the chance to be one of the league’s top receiving TEs. He also has the chance to serve as one of Justin Herbert‘s top targets for the foreseeable future — a proposition that he admits could lead him back to LA — but he will have no shortage of suitors when the legal tampering period opens tomorrow.
  • Before he was traded to the Patriots, former Raiders tackle Trent Brown was considered a release candidate. But as Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets, Vegas had no intention of cutting Brown (at least not yet). The club planned to bring him to training camp to earn his keep, but New England’s offer, along with Brown’s willingness to rework his contract, triggered the deal. Still, Brown’s hold on his roster spot in Vegas couldn’t have been very strong, as the Raiders dealt him and a 2022 seventh-rounder for a 2022 fifth-rounder.

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 (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.

TE Hunter Henry Discusses Free Agency, Chargers

Hunter Henry could be in line for a significant pay day this offseason, as the 26-year-old will headline the class of free agent tight ends. Like any free agent, Henry is naturally looking to secure a lucrative contract in free agency, but the five-year veteran admitted that he’ll also be valuing his suitors’ quarterback situations.

“Obviously, you’ve got to look at it financially,” Henry said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via Twitter). “That’s part of it, but I don’t think it’s all about that.

“I want to play somewhere there’s a good quarterback. That’s huge for our position … Playing with a good quarterback always makes things better. You got to look at both. You got to look at some of the financial stuff, but not dive too deep into it that you go chasing it because I also want to play with a good quarterback.”

Of course, some would naturally point to Henry’s incumbent team as a match. Justin Herbert had a standout rookie season, and Henry benefited by hauling in 60 receptions for 613 yards and four touchdowns. Henry noted his connection with Herbert, and he said he’d welcome a return to Los Angeles.

“I really enjoyed my time here, so I’m not going to ever rule that out,” Henry explained. “With a young quarterback, me and Justin have formed a relationship. But I think I’m open to whatever, and I kind of have to [be], in a way. But I’ve really enjoyed my time, and if that continues, I’ll be excited. If it doesn’t, then that will be a new step.”

Due to his lack of consistency and previous injury concerns, Henry will have a tough time reaching the average annual values of fellow tight ends George Kittle ($15MM) and Travis Kelce ($14.3MM). However, after being slapped with the franchise tag last offseason, Henry still ranked third in AVV at $10.6MM (a number that would climb if he’s franchised a second time). Austin Hooper managed to secure a four-year, $42MM deal last offseason ($10.5MM AAV), and that would be a logical financial framework for Henry’s next contract.

No Deal For Chargers, Hunter Henry

The Chargers and Hunter Henry won’t have an extension in place by the afternoon deadline, Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter) hears. There was strong mutual interest in a long term arrangement, but the current economic client scuttled any potential deal.

Henry has already signed his one-year, $11MM tender, so he’s locked in for the upcoming season. Back in April, Henry said he was “close” to inking an extension at some point, but a deal never came together. Now, he’s playing on a prove-it deal, and he mostly needs to prove that he can stay healthy.

The former second-rounder missed all of 2018 with a ACL tear and also missed time last year with a knee injury. At the same time, 2019 was a career year for Henry – he tallied 55 catches for 652 yards and five touchdowns in just 12 games.

It’s not an ideal outcome for Henry, but he does have the honor of being the first tight end to receive the franchise tag since 2014, when the Saints used it to cuff Jimmy Graham. For now, Henry says he’s focused on the present.

“To me, I have so much to prove,” Henry said recently. “Honestly, everybody knows my history of injuries. Unfortunate injuries that have happened in my career and I feel like that has held me back a little bit sometimes. I’m just eager to kinda get through something that I haven’t been able to do for a full season…I feel the best I’ve felt in probably a couple years, for sure. I’m excited.”

Chargers TE Hunter Henry Not Expecting Extension

With only four days to go until the extension deadline for tagged players, tight end Hunter Henry doesn’t see himself signing a deal with the Chargers.

“I don’t think anything will get done, but we’ll see,” Henry told Gilbert Manzano of the OC Register.

[RELATED: Status Of Tagged Players Prior To July 15 Extension Deadline]

“I’m not worried about it,” Henry added. “I’m just going to go out there. I get a chance to play this year and do my thing this year. I’m pretty locked in on what I got ahead of me in the 2020 season. That’s what I’m locked in for, you know, I don’t like to look too far ahead.”

The Chargers slapped Henry with the franchise tag earlier this offseason, and the tight end subsequently signed the $11MM tender. Back in April, Henry said he had been “close” to inking an extension with the organization, but a deal never materialized.

The former second-rounder has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, but he’s been productive when he’s seen the field. 2019 was a career year for Henry, as he hauled in 55 receptions for 652 yards and five scores in 12 games. As Manzano explains, the 25-year-old’s pseudo-one-year contract is effectively a “prove-it deal,” and Henry has the opportunity to earn a significant payday if he improves his numbers in 2020.

“To me, I have so much to prove,” Henry said. “Honestly, everybody knows my history of injuries. Unfortunate injuries that have happened in my career and I feel like that has held me back a little bit sometimes. I’m just eager to kinda get through something that I haven’t been able to do for a full season.

“I think that’s the biggest thing I’m focusing on. Just trying to stay healthy. I’ve just had some unfortunate injuries come my way. I feel the best I’ve felt in probably a couple years, for sure. I’m excited.”

Status Of All 15 Tagged Players Prior to July 15 Extension Deadline

The clock is ticking for tagged players to sign extensions with their teams, per the league calendar.

July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

With less than nine days remaining until the deadline, let’s take a look at where each of the 15 tagged players stand.

Already Signed Tag

*Received transition tag (vs. franchise tag)

Haven’t Signed Tag, Won’t Hold Out

Haven’t Signed Tag, Threatening Hold Out