Chargers' Hunter Henry on Franchise Tag: 'Just Not Me' to Hold Out

Chargers tight end Hunter Henry explained his decision to sign his franchise tag and why he doesn't ever plan to stage a contract holdout.
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LOS ANGELES -- Fifth-year tight end Hunter Henry secured his place with the Los Angeles Chargers for 2020 when he signed his franchise tag earlier this offseason. However, he hopes that he can remain with the organization past the upcoming season.

"It's definitely a blessing to get the franchise tag," Henry said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. "It only being one year, definitely we're going to try to extend something and get something for a longer term. Definitely would like to do something in that aspect."

Henry did not have to sign his franchise tag as early as he did. Instead, the veteran tight end could have waited until the July 15 extension deadline for tagged players to try to force the Chargers' hand. Doing so would have prevented him from taking part in the virtual offseason, but Henry didn't care to take that approach.

"I was just ready to sign it," Henry said. "Just with everything going on with this, and just myself, like I just wasn't a guy that wanted to hold out and kind of do all that. I wasn't going to do that. That's just not me. Some guys can do it. It's just not me."

Former teammate Melvin Gordon staged a contract holdout last year hoping to secure a long-term deal with the franchise. The move backfired, with Gordon missing the first month of the regular season and never landing a new contract. Henry held more leverage than Gordon -- the team could not have fined the tight end absent a signed contract -- but he chose not to exercise it.

"I just went ahead and signed it," Henry continued. "I'm excited for this team and I'm excited for going into this new stadium with new jerseys, new look, everything. So, hopefully we can work something out. We're definitely going back and forth. I think all this pandemic stuff has kind of put a lot of that on hold for a while with them going into the draft. So, hopefully we can pick it back up and see where we go from there."

-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH