stats online users

Los Angeles Chargers free-agency overview: Will Hunter Henry return?


The Los Angeles Chargers have 16 unrestricted free brokers coming off a 7-9 season. They’re on the lookout for safety for Justin Herbert via reinforcements on the offensive line. In addition they must safe one other dependable large receiver, determine what to do with tight finish Hunter Henry, and fortify their protection.

Here is what to anticipate from the Chargers when the NFL offseason hits excessive gear with the beginning of free company on March 17:

QUARTERBACK

Beneath contract: Justin Herbert, Easton Stick

UFA: Tyrod Taylor

Sport plan: Herbert is the person. Large time. The workforce, nevertheless, is likely to be on the lookout for a robust No. 2 with some expertise, despite the fact that they do like Stick. I believe Taylor bumped into the worst luck ever, together with his weird harm earlier than Week 2, however might be a great quarterback some place else if given the chance.

RUNNING BACK

Beneath contract: Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, Darius Bradwell, Gabe Nabers (FB)

RFA: Kalen Ballage

Sport plan: Ekeler, who is extremely efficient as a pass-catcher and a runner, was harm for a big a part of the 2020 season, however got here again sturdy and appears to be wholesome. The Chargers may wish to add a extra cumbersome, conventional working again to enrich him.

WIDE RECEIVER

Beneath contract: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Tyron Johnson, Jalen Guyton, KJ Hill Jr., Joe Reed

UFA: None

Sport plan: The Chargers are tremendous the best way they’re, with a mix of reliability on shorter routes and big-play threats able to connecting with Herbert on deep balls. Higher than tremendous. However you possibly can by no means have sufficient speedy wideouts.

TIGHT END

Beneath contract: Donald Parham Jr.

UFA: Hunter Henry, Virgil Inexperienced

Sport plan: They might should franchise tag Henry for a second straight yr to maintain him. Or the Chargers might let him go and take their probabilities. However contemplating that he caught 60 passes for 613 yards and 4 touchdowns as Herbert’s security internet final yr, I might maintain him.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Beneath contract: Trey Pipkins III, Storm Norton, Trai Turner, Scott Quessenberry, Bryan Bulaga, Nathan Gilliam

UFA: Forrest Lamp, Ryan Groy, Sam Tevi, Dan Feeney

Sport plan: Consensus is that they should spend cash to shore up this much-maligned unit, which suffered from too many accidents (Bulaga, Turner and the just lately retired Mike Pouncey) and an excessive amount of inconsistency. They should defend Herbert and can, both via free company or the draft in April.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Beneath contract: Joey Bosa, Justin Jones, Jerry Tillery, Cortez Broughton, Linval Joseph, Breiden Fehoko, T.J. Smith, Jesse Lemonier

UFA: Damion Sq., Melvin Ingram III

Sport plan: The Chargers are anticipated to let Ingram, who had 49 profession sacks in 9 seasons however missed a lot of final yr to harm, go elsewhere. They might want to discover one other move rusher who can present explosion from both facet to assist Bosa out.

LINEBACKERS

Beneath contract: Kenneth Murray Jr., Uchenna Nwosu, Drue Tranquill, Kyzir White, Emeke Egbule

UFA: Nick Vigil, Denzel Perryman

Sport plan: They’d wish to develop Murray’s pass-rushing expertise a bit, however who is aware of. Murray led the workforce with 107 tackles final yr however was inconsistent. He will get a little bit of a move for that, having to be taught a brand new system and rise up to NFL velocity, however he wants to point out why the Chargers traded as much as draft him within the first spherical final yr.

SAFETIES

Beneath contract: Derwin James, Nasir Adderley, Alohi Gilman

UFA: Jahleel Addae, Rayshawn Jenkins

Sport plan: James will hopefully be again wholesome after sitting out all of 2020 and most of 2019. If James, an All-Professional as a rookie in 2018, can return and keep within the lineup, that may bolster the place significantly. However he will not be sufficient. They want one other bruising security who can blitz and canopy.

CORNERBACKS

Beneath contract: Chris Harris Jr., Casey Hayward Jr., John Brannon III, Donte Vaughn

UFA: Jaylen Watkins, Michael Davis

Sport plan: The Chargers want so as to add some our bodies right here to protect towards harm, as Harris was harm for a lot of final season. When wholesome, Harris offered a veteran presence to go together with the regular Hayward. Getting them some assistance is a precedence.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Beneath contract: None

UFA: None.

Sport plan: Kicker Michael Badgley and long-snapper Cole Mazza are restricted free brokers, whereas punter Ty Lengthy is an unique rights free agent. Both manner, the Chargers want some assist right here after rating final within the NFL in particular groups based on FPI. Numerous assist. They want to usher in a bunch of kickers and snappers and essentially the most constant wins at every place.