Chargers: 3 questions facing Los Angeles’ offense in 2020

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Hunter Henry #86 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Hunter Henry #86 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Can Chargers TE Hunter Henry stay healthy in 2020?

In a not-so-shocking move, the Chargers elected not to ink tight end Hunter Henry to a new deal after placing the franchise tag on him earlier this offseason.

With the deadline to negotiate a new deal on the tag now passed, Henry will play out the 2020 season on a one-year, fully guaranteed $10.6 million deal and won’t be able to talk contracts with the team, or elsewhere for that matter, until just before the beginning of the league new year in 2021.

As for why Los Angeles held off on an extension? Well, Henry surely has all the tools to be a great tight end in the league. He’s not in the category of, let’s say the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle or the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce, of course. But Henry should be a candidate for that next-level tier.

The only problem, however, has been Henry’s bill of health. It’s not great.

A knee injury thwarted the tail end of Henry’s 2017 campaign. In 2018, he suffered a torn ACL during offseason workouts, which kept him off the field entirely. And last year, a fractured knee early in the season ultimately limited Henry to 12 games played.

Still, Henry managed 652 receiving yards on 55 receptions with five touchdowns during that abbreviated span in 2019, meaning he has the tools to be a major contributor.

As such, the Chargers will want to see if Henry can be fully serviceable over the course of an entire year without committing a lot of financial resources in a would-be risky move over the long run.