Hunter Henry gets franchise tagged by the Los Angeles Chargers
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport already reported that the Los Angeles Chargers were considering using the franchise tag on Hunter Henry. At the end of the day, that is probably the best move for the Chargers and the path that the team is going to take.
You could certainly make the case for Henry deserving a multi-year contract extension and there is nothing wrong with that. Henry is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL and is one of just eight tight ends since 2016 to have 17 total touchdown receptions.
That is what makes him so valuable on the open market and why there will be other teams that will probably offer top positional money to Henry if he hits free agency.
The one concern for the Los Angeles Chargers, and why they would franchise tag him instead of extending him, is his injury history. Henry missed all of the 2018 season and has not completed an entire season without missing games for some kind of injury.
With that in the back of their minds, it can be hard to offer Henry a long-term extension. Instead, the team can use the franchise tag in 2020 to get him paid over $11 million and see how he holds up this season to re-enter contract talks.
It is a risk as there is the chance that Henry does not like that the Chargers were willing to offer an extension, but in the same vein, he could end up making more money overall by getting paid over $11 million this season and then signing that multi-year extension.