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Hunter Henry Open to Signing New Chargers Contract; 'I Love' QB Justin Herbert

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry (86) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong )
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers didn't use the franchise tag to retain tight end Hunter Henry, but they may have quarterback Justin Herbert to thank if he re-signs in free agency.

"My favorite quarterback? Shoot, I love Herbie. That's my guy...I'm not ruling out the Chargers.ย I'm not ruling out the Chargers, and I won't rule out the Chargers," Henry told TMZ Sports.

While Henry acknowledged the financial side of things will have a significant impact on his free-agency decision, it was equally clear he wants a quarterback he knows can get him the ball. Herbert made an impression in their one season together, with Henry setting a career high in receptions (60) while adding 613 yards and four touchdowns.

Henry will hit the free-agent market as perhaps the most coveted tight end available thanks to his strong rapport with Herbert, who emerged as a budding star in 2020.

Given the few Pro Bowl-caliber players available at tight end this offseason, it's unlikely Henry winds up back in Los Angeles. The Chargers appear ready to hand over the starting job to Donald Parham, a 6'8" 2019 undrafted free agent who started getting more work as the 2020 season drew to a close.

Henry will almost certainly see offers that wind up taking him past the Chargers' price range, especially given they chose to not use their tag despite having more than ample cap space.

That said, we've seen stranger offseason reunions.