The San Diego Chargers just re-signed wide receiver Keenan Allen to a four-year extension.
Another Charger is set to be a free agent after the 2016 season, and that’s outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. Ingram was the Chargers’ first-round pick in the 2012 draft, and he was considered a steal at No. 18 overall.
Ingram was supposed to revive the Chargers’ inconsistent pass rush, but he’s provided mix results. While he’s proved to be a difference-maker on the field, he’s been hit by injuries over his four-year career. But as a 16-game starter last season, Ingram racked up 10.5 sacks, the most since Antwan Barnes (2011).
The Chargers need Ingram. He’s a playmaker who can get to the quarterback with ease. The problem is that he doesn’t generate enough sacks (or stay healthy for that matter). Even though sack totals aren’t everything, the Chargers’ defense would get off the field more if the quarterback is taken down.
That said, what kind of contract does Ingram deserve? Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget got a nice payday last offseason, and it was based off general Tom Telesco’s belief of potential (meaning that while a solid end, Telesco paid Liuget for the player he hopes he could become). Does he feel the same way for Ingram?
As of now, the Chargers have good depth at linebacker, but there are no superstars. If Ingram can stay on the field, he could be that guy.
What do you guys think? Should Ingram get paid? Or should the Chargers think about a drafting another outside linebacker in the 2017 draft?