TE: Hunter Henry
No other tight end should be the focus here. It’s imperative that the Chargers get a deal done with Hunter Henry. He proved himself in spades in 2020 with good production and great blocking. His help in the development of Justin Herbert can’t be understated.
Injuries are a risk for a player who’s been banged up before, but Henry suffered no major injuries in 2020. Had he not contracted COVID-19, #86 would’ve started every game for the first time in his career. A healthy season is what all fans and analysts wanted to see out of Henry in 2020.
Henry could have a relatively competitive free agency market with cap rich teams like New England and Indianapolis interested. Still, it would be worth it for the Chargers to pay him that $11-12 million in average annual value to get the deal done.
It’s also just too risky to let him walk. Kyle Pitts has been a dream for some fans at pick 13 in the draft, but it’s far from a guarantee that he’s there. If you miss out on him in the draft, you’re left looking at the rather lackluster group of other tight ends in free agency to replace Henry. And if Tom Telesco does draft someone like Pitts, it will mean yet another draft of probably not properly addressing the offensive line.
If the Chargers have the next four years to be contenders under Herbert’s rookie contract, they have to spend money on his weapons. We saw this with Keenan Allen last year and we need to see it with Henry this year. The risks of letting him walk are just too great.