Chargers Free Agency

What the LA Chargers should do with Melvin Ingram

Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram III (54) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram III (54) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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The LA Chargers are in a difficult spot with Melvin Ingram’s expiring contract.

The LA Chargers have some questions to answer this offseason. One is what to do with Melvin Ingram. After an injury-riddled season, Ingram is an unrestricted free agent and his future with the Chargers is up in the air.

Here’s what Los Angeles should do.

The team already has a handful of upcoming free agents and it’s plausible they don’t re-sign Ingram to preserve cap space. I would argue they re-sign Ingram.

Now it wouldn’t be the worst-case scenario if he moved on but the team would certainly benefit if he stayed in LA.

However, they should re-sign him on a shorter-term deal for one or two years. To address the cap issue, the Chargers should try to sign him for around his current contract if not less. Now, it’s hard to expect any player to take a pay cut, but for Ingram’s situation, it’s a little understandable.

Ingram missed ten games of the 2020 season and was out due to a nagging knee injury. It wouldn’t be smart to overpay a player who has injury concerns.

With a shorter and potentially lesser deal, this can motivate the former first-rounder. Ingram will want to work harder to not only help the team but earn a better contract in the future even if it’s for a different team.

The defensive end is a three-time pro bowler from 2017-2019. Now 31, his days as a top defensive end may be over. This doesn’t mean he still won’t provide value to the team. As a veteran leader on defense, he is an important player to have around for the team to rally behind.

The LA Chargers in recent years have imploded on offense and defense, none more evident than this most recent season, causing them to often lose one-score games. Ingram’s veteran presence was missed as nobody really stepped up and filled his shoes.

It wasn’t too long ago Ingram was at the top of his game during the 2018 season where the team went 12-4. If the Chargers re-signed him for shorter and less money they wouldn’t expect him to recover that form but instead just be present and healthy.

Simply just being available for your team is one of the most important things you can do. It’s hard to completely avoid injuries especially when in a Chargers uniform but with this contract, the risk has a low floor and high ceiling.

Additionally, if he does leave the more difficult question would be who could replace him. Even in the upcoming draft, the Chargers need to prioritize the offensive line and secondary more than simply just Ingram’s position.

Despite his health concerns and wages, keeping Ingram will be beneficial for the team as he is better than three or four below-average or average players.

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Only time will tell if he suits up for the powder blue and sunshine golds again or leaves the organization that drafted him after an injury-plagued season.

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