Which Squad Will Land the LA Chargers TE?
By: Chris Moore (Twitter: @fantasy_moore)
With the 2021 offseason only a couple of weeks away, it’s time for NFL teams to start thinking about what their rosters will look like for the next year. Now is the time to be looking and talking about where potential players could end up.
In this article, we will be looking at Hunter Henry and the top three destinations for him. Henry has established himself as a top-10 tight end in the league when he is healthy. But Henry has struggled with injuries in the past, but at only 26 years old, Henry will be highly targeted for many teams this offseason.
Henry had a solid season for the Chargers last season, catching 60 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns. Henry was one of Justin Herbert’s favorite targets last season, second in targets with 93. He was one of the Chargers’ best weapons in the passing game and played in 14 games last season.
Injuries have played a part in Henry’s career. During the 2018 offseason, Henry tore his ACL in team workouts. This led to Henry missing all of 2018 and carried over into the 2019 season. It was promising to see Henry stay rather healthy last season for the Chargers.
At only 26 years old, Henry can still be a huge offensive contributor to any offense. Henry had the 8th most receptions out of all tight ends in the league last season. Henry is still one of the top tight ends in the league when healthy, and he will be heavily coveted this offseason.
Hunter Henry 2020 stats
613 receiving yards
10.2 yards per reception
43.8 receiving yards per game
Los Angeles Chargers
My top landing spot for Hunter Henry in 2021 would be a return to his former team, the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers found their franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft, and they have the potential to be a team on the rise in the future. Keeping a talented player like Henry should be a priority for the Chargers this offseason, as it’s clear Herbert and Henry have chemistry together. Henry was Herbert’s second favorite target last season, only behind star wide receiver Keenan Allen. The Chargers should be building the team around their young star quarterback, and bringing back one of his favorite targets is a move they need to make.
Passing Ranks of the Los Angeles Chargers (Pro Football Reference):
Passing Yards: 6th
Yards P/A: 15th
Henry staying put would make a ton of sense, as the Chargers have the money to pay him as a top tight end in the league. With almost $30 million in cap space, the Chargers should be bringing back their star tight end in 2021. A healthy Chargers offense with Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and Justin Herbert should have this team on the rise in 2021.
Below is the regular-season production of the Los Angeles Chargers starting pass-catchers last year:
Keenan Allen: 100-992-8
Hunter Henry: 60-613-4
Mike Williams: 48-756-5
Jalen Guyton: 28-511-3
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are in major need of a tight end. Ever since losing Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots have gotten no production from the position. The Patriots’ starting tight end Ryan Izzo caught 13 passes for 199 yards last season. This team needs weapons, and it starts at fixing the tight end position. We have seen what tight ends can do in this offense before, and adding someone like Hunter Henry would fill that void for the Patriots in 2021. Henry would step in and be a huge upgrade to the Patriots’ weapons.
Passing Ranks of the New England Patriots (Pro Football Reference):
Passing Yards: 30th
Yards P/A: 23rd
We don’t know who will be under center for the Patriots in 2021, but adding a reliable pass catcher like Hunter Henry would only help whoever is starting a quarterback for the Patriots. The Patriots have also been rumored to be targeting Henry for a couple of years now. There were rumors about the Patriots being interested in Henry when he was franchised tagged, and Bill Belichick has been a fan of his for some time now. Belichick even said
“ Henry ‘s really been a great player,” Belichick told reporters “I’ve watched him pretty much his whole career. He started at Pulaski Academy down in Little Rock, played for Coach [Kevin] Kelly down there. He had a great career there, went to Arkansas and had a great career at Arkansas”. Belichick is clearly a fan of Henry, and the Patriots have the cap space to bring him in. The Patriots are projected to have around $57 million in cap space, making Henry a possible free-agent target.
Below is the regular-season production of the New England Patriots starting pass-catchers last year:
Jakobi Meyers: 59-729-0
Damiere Bryd: 47-604-1
Julian Edelman: 21-315-0
N’Keal Harry: 33-309-2
New York Jets
The New York Jets are on a mission to turn this organization around. Hiring Robert Saleh as their new head coach should start to turn the Jets around in 2021. Saleh will also be bringing over Mike LaFleur from the 49ers coaching staff who will serve as the Jets’ new offensive coordinator in 2021. Saleh has made it clear the Jets will be running the 49ers offensive and defensive scheme in 2021. We have seen how important George Kittle is to the 49ers. So upgrading the tight end position for the Jets in 2021 may be a priority. Chris Herndon has struggled to produce for the Jets over the past couple of seasons, and upgrading to a star like Henry would do wonders for the Jets offense. The Jets are going to have plenty of money to spend this offseason. With around $70 million to spend, the Jets would easily have the money to afford Henry’s services if they wanted to. Henry would become one of the Jets’ best pass catchers, and his run blocking would help the Jets offense tremendously. Upgrading the offense needs to be a priority for the Jets this offseason, and adding Henry would be a great start to fixing this team.
Passing Ranks of the New York Jets (Pro Football Reference):
Passing Yards: 31st
Passing Touchdowns: 28th
Yards P/A: 31st
It remains to be seen if Sam Darnold will return as the starting quarterback for the Jets in 2021, but upgrading the offense should be a priority. Adding a reliable tight end like Hunter Henry could help Darnold take that next step. We have seen Darnold show potential in his NFL career, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together yet in his young career. Adding Henry and another skilled WR would be a great way to fix the Jets’ offense in 2021.
Below is the regular-season production of the New York Jets starting pass-catchers last year:
Jamison Crowder: 59-699-6
Breshad Perriman: 30-505-3
Denzel Mims: 23-357-0
Chris Herndon: 31-287-3