Report: Hunter Henry Won't Receive Franchise Tag from Chargers, Will Become FA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry (86) reacts after a play against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

If Hunter Henry is going to remain with the Los Angeles Chargers, it will have to come through a long-term contract agreement. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chargers told Henry on Tuesday that he won't receive the franchise tag prior to the 4 p.m. ET deadline. 

Henry played last season on the franchise tag. He would have been owed a fully guaranteed $12.7 million if the Chargers had used their one-year tender on him for a second consecutive year. 

Los Angeles is one of the few teams in a good spot with the salary cap heading into the new league year March 17. Spotrac estimates the team has $32.7 million available to re-sign its own players and negotiate with free agents. 

Henry, Melvin Ingram III and Denzel Perryman are the Chargers' top free agents this offseason. Veteran offensive lineman Mike Pouncey gave the team some cap relief when he announced his retirement last month after missing the 2020 season because of a hip injury. 

A second-round pick by the Chargers in the 2016 NFL draft, Henry has been a productive receiver for the team over the past five seasons. He has caught 21 touchdowns in 55 career games. The Arkansas alum ranked third on the Chargers with 613 yards and four touchdowns in 2020.