Hunter Henry is staying with the Chargers this season after receiving the franchise tag, and he should be ready to go for Week 1, barring a surprise holdout. He's worth drafting as a No. 1 Fantasy tight end in all leagues with a mid-round pick. Henry could emerge as a top five Fantasy tight end this season, and he should be drafted not long after the big four options at the position come off the board (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews and Zach Ertz). Look for Henry once you start to see Evan Engram and Darren Waller drafted. Henry will have to adjust to working with a new quarterback, but he should do well with either Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert. And Henry has to prove he can stay healthy after missing four games in 2019 with a knee injury. But he scored at least 13 PPR points in his final 11 games, and he should have the chance for a big season in 2020. Henry is a breakout candidate to target in all leagues.
Henry and the Chargers didn't reach an agreement on a contract extension before Wednesday's deadline, Jeff Miller of the LA Times reports. The 25-year-old tight end will play out 2020 with a base salary of $10.6 million under the franchise tag, potentially facing a second tag for $12.7 million next offseason. Despite missing four games with a knee injury early in the season, Henry finished 2019 with career highs for targets (76), receptions (55) and yards (652). He did slow down in December, when he was limited to a 16-165-2 receiving line in five games. The combination of Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert at quarterback isn't ideal, but Henry at least figures to handle a three-down role for the 2020 Chargers, competing for targets with Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams.
Henry is not expected to sign an extension before the July 15 deadline, Gilbert Manzano of The Orange Country Register reports. Henry, who already signed his $10.6 million franchise tag tender, didn't sound optimistic about a possible extension before the July 15 deadline saying, "I'm just going to go out there. I get a chance to play this year and do my thing this year. I'm pretty locked in on what I got ahead of me in the 2020 season. That's what I'm locked in for, you know, I don't like to look too far ahead." The starting tight end has run into a slew of different injuries throughout his career, but he has still piled together 1,709 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns despite missing 23 games over the past four seasons.
Henry is willing to play under the franchise tag, though he prefers a long-term contract, SiriusXM NFL Radio reports. "I think it's fine," Henry said when he was asked about the tag. "I mean, obviously, I would like to get something done... just for security, in the long term." Henry signed the franchise tender in April, ending any discussion of a possible holdout. He said it's been awhile since serious contract negotiations took place, but he's hoping to get a deal done this summer. The tight end also mentioned that he's been able to talk and throw with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, the sixth overall pick from April's draft. The Chargers still expect Tyrod Taylor to get the Week 1 start, but recent history shows that first-round QBs tend to get on the field sooner rather than later.
Henry, who agreed to sign his franchise tag, is still expected to sign a multi-year deal with the Chargers, Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times reports. Henry and the Chargers have until July 15 to comes to terms on an extension, otherwise he'll presumably play under the $10.6 million franchise tag in 2020. The 2016 second-round pick has been a staple of the team's offense when healthy, but knee injuries in consecutive seasons have limited him to just 12 of 32 games. With long-time veteran Philip Rivers now with the Colts, Henry could have an even greater emphasis as a reliable underneath target for whoever is eventually under center to start the new campaign.
Henry will sign his $10.61 million franchise tender Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Henry was hopeful to secure an extension with the Chargers this offseason, but the poor durability he's shown during his first four NFL seasons may have prevented any discussions about a long-term deal from gaining any serious traction. The franchise tag will at least make him one of the NFL's top-paid tight ends during the 2020 season, when he'll look to prove his health and stay productive as the Chargers move on from longtime signal-caller Philip Rivers. Los Angeles is expected to proceed with Tyrod Taylor as its starter entering training camp, but the team could invest its first-round pick into a quarterback who could challenge the veteran for the top job.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/20||Kansas City Chiefs||21||7.32|
|4||10/04||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||7.63|
|5||10/13||@New Orleans Saints||8||6.12|
|6||10/18||New York Jets||4||5.13|
|9||11/08||Las Vegas Raiders||30||8.75|
|13||12/06||New England Patriots||12||6.35|
|15||12/18||@Las Vegas Raiders||30||8.75|
|17||01/03||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||7.32|
|3 Year Avg||46||33||410||3||23||12.42||59|