Hunter Henry: LA Chargers
This is why cutting Trai Turner and any other cut-worthy players to free up money is so important. Hunter Henry is likely going to cost in the $11-13 million range (I predicted he gets $12.7 million as the franchise tag). That means the cap hit of the three Chargers that I think will re-sign is $24.3 million.
Granted, they could do some cap maneuvering with signing bonuses and whatnot, but just on the surface, that is what these three free agents will cost. The Chargers currently have $25.3 million in cap space.
That makes it evident that the Chargers may not have as much money to spend as some believe and while the Bolts can let some of these free agents walk that does not necessarily solve the problem. Sure, they would be giving themselves more money to spend but they are only opening more holes on the roster.
Yes, they have the NFL Draft to turn to, but they are not going to be able to fill multiple holes with instant contributors in the draft. Here is a fun experiment: find one player since Keenan Allen that was drafted in rounds 2-4 that had a legitimate impact in year one for the Chargers. There is none.
This is a team that wants to compete in 2021 and that is why bringing back guys like Hunter Henry and Michael Davis are extremely important. I am fine with Melvin Ingram walking away, but I do think the team really values his leadership and at his price will end up bringing him back.
There is not any great plan B for the tight end position if the LA Chargers cannot bring Hunter Henry back so they have to bite the bullet and either extend him or franchise tag him.