The Los Angeles Chargers have many players who will hit free agency next season if they aren’t given an extension, most notably Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry.
The Chargers have important players who will need extended or new deals, including the three mentioned above who, if not given contract extensions, will hit free agency the next season.
In the most recent list compiled by NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, three Chargers players appear in the top 25 list of 2020 free agents. The only other team to have three players on the list is the Cowboys, who have Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones.
The first Charger on the list is none other than Rivers, coming in at No. 2 after Dak Prescott. Sure, Prescott is 11 years younger, but there are considerable doubts about his ability to succeed without his top-notch offensive line or an elite Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield.
One could have said the same of Rivers after his first pair of NFL seasons, where he had a top defense and the best running back in the game carrying the ball. However, has since proven himself by carrying countless bad Chargers teams on his shoulders and making the Pro-Bowl eight times in the process.
Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks of this century, and even though his arm isn’t what it was, he is playing the best football of his career right now. He is entering this season 38 years old, but it’s becoming increasingly normal for a quarterback to play into his forties.
Though Rivers will officially hit free agency if his contract is not extended, it is unlikely the Chargers will allow one of its most historically important players to leave.
After him is Gordon at No. 14, the first and only running back on this list. Gordon’s situation is very uncertain; it has been about a month since he announced he was holding out, and things aren’t much more clear than they were 30 days ago.
He has reportedly turned down extensions the Chargers have offered and is sticking to his asking price. His desire to be traded if he doesn’t reach an agreement has also been denied by the Chargers, according to reports.
It’s anyone’s guess if he will be a free agent in 2020, but for now, he remains on this list until he either signs an extension or his situation is clarified.
One spot after Gordon comes Henry, but it’s unlikely the Chargers let one of the best young tight ends in the league hit free agency. Should he be a free agent in 2020, however, he will be highly coveted by many teams, as Henry has the skill and athletic ability to drastically improve offenses in both the passing game and the run game. He is also a red zone specialist, using his size and efficient route-running to beat coverage.
The Chargers have difficult decisions to make. Three of their star players have expiring contracts, and if they choose to extend the three, it will likely come at the expense of other talented players who will also require extensions down the road.