(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) – LA Chargers
2. The LA Chargers can easily afford to re-sign Melvin Ingram
There is this idea that the LA Chargers are not going to be able to pay Melvin Ingram because of all the other free agents that the team has to re-sign as well as how much Ingram will cost. To be fair, I have personally fallen victim to that train of thought, arguing that the Chargers have to choose between Ingram and Hunter Henry.
While that still is true if Ingram has a decent offer on the table from another team, I do not think that is the case. We can use really recent historical evidence to prove that Ingram, even though he is making a tangible difference to the Chargers’ defense, is not going to get a large contract.
Ingram is going to be 32 next season. That is old in football years. I remember having this debate with the Bolt Beat staff before the season and I urged that non-quarterbacks in their 30s should be considered old and could regress really quickly. Look at Casey Hayward.
Teams know this and they are not going to pay a premium for players that are on the wrong side of 30. Consider this: there was only one big contract given out to an edge rusher over 30 last season. Mario Addison signed a three-year, $30.45 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. This is an outlier and Addison is still only getting $13.25 guaranteed.
Some other over-30 contracts from last offseason: Adrian Clayborn, two-years $5.75 million; Bruce Irvin, one-year $5.5 million, Derek Wolfe, one-year $3 million, Everson Griffen (who had a much better 2019 than Ingram’s 2020), one-year, $6 million.
Ingram is not getting a large contract and if he does it would be an absolutely foolish move for whatever team signed him. You do not sign 32-year-old players to an expensive multi-year deal.
Quite frankly, the Chargers could probably get Ingram back on a two-year, $8-10 million contract with a club option after next season in which they can opt-out. Fully guarantee next year’s salary and if he regresses badly next year then target an edge rusher high in the draft.
Now, I did say that they could regress quickly and that is absolutely possible with Ingram next season. However, the impact he has had on the defensive line this year makes me hopeful that he can hold down the position for one more year, at least, while the Chargers address more pressing needs.