Hunter Henry isn’t ruling out returning to Chargers and here’s the big reason why

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Hunter Henry will be one of the most intriguing tight end options in free agency — if he actually decides to play in a uniform other than the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021. The Chargers informed Henry last week they won’t place the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive season, but Henry won’t dismiss returning to the team that drafted him. 

“The ball’s in my court either way,” Henry told TMZ Sports. “I’m not going to rule any team out, all possibilities are on the table. I will say I’m not ruling out the Chargers. I’m not ruling out the Chargers and I won’t rule out the Chargers.”

Henry has 196 catches for 2,322 yards and 21 touchdowns in five NFL seasons since being drafted by the Chargers as a second-round pick in 2016. Amongst tight ends since 2016, Henry is 15th in catches, 13th in yards, and tied for eighth in touchdowns — this with missing the entire 2018 season due to a torn ACL. Henry finished with a career-high 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games for the Chargers last season — ranking eighth at his position in receptions and 13th in yards. 

So why is Henry not ruling out the Chargers? Henry wants to catch passes from a good quarterback — and he knows Justin Herbert is one. 

“There’s a lot of quarterbacks I respect and look forward to playing with,” Henry said. “But Herbie’s (Herbert) my guy. Love him.” 

Makes sense why Henry would want to continue his relationship with Herbert, who set NFL rookie records with 31 touchdown passes, 298.1 passing yards per game and 396 completions. Herbert also had the second-most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (4,336) and the second-highest completion percentage at 66.55%. His 98.3 passer rating is the sixth highest for a rookie quarterback in NFL history, accomplishing all this in just 15 games. 

Henry has plenty of incentive to play for the Chargers again, but there will be plenty of teams vying for his services. 

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