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L.A. Chargers Pending Unrestricted Free Agents

The Chargers have 17 unrestricted free agents set to hit free agency.

The NFL is around two weeks away from free agency beginning. The LA Chargers have numerous unrestricted players set to hit free agency. It will be interesting to see who they decide comes back and who will look for a new team next season.

Here are the unrestricted free agents and if they could be back in 2021.

DE Melvin Ingram – 32 years old, 2020 salary $16 million

Ingram is the longest tenured player on the Chargers. He was drafted in 2012 by general manager AJ Smith and has been a high motor player for the defense. Ingram though, had a very unfortunate 2020 season, not recording a single sack and going on IR twice. Expect Ingram to have a market and it might be too high for the Chargers who have several other positions of need. Ingram could return but it would have to be at a significant pay reduction. If he does depart, Ingram will add production to any defense that adds him.

Likelihood to return: Slim

TE Hunter Henry – 27 years old, 2020 salary $10.6 million

Henry is coming off a strong season where he developed a strong relationship with quarterback Justin Herbert. He caught 60 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns. Here is where it gets interesting. Henry played 14 games and his numbers were good, but the team must decide if he is worth $10-$12 million a year. He is a tier below Travis Kelce and George Kittle. The Chargers must decide, especially with a lowered cap, if Henry is worth the money or if they let him go into free agency.

Likelihood to return: Moderate

FS Rayshawn Jenkins – 27 years old, 2020 salary $765K

Jenkins has been the starter for two seasons. He had a good first season but had to switch to strong safety this last season due to the injury to Derwin James. Jenkins had a solid 2020 season and improved his tackling. Make no mistake about it, Jenkins deserves a pay day. It will be interesting to see if Staley wants to keep him in his secondary or if he goes out and gets someone familiar with his system.

Likelihood to return: Moderate

LT Sam Tevi – 27 years old, 2020 salary $640K

Tevi was a very bad right tackle for two seasons for the Bolts. He was moved to left tackle last season and in what was a bad year for the offensive line, Tevi was probably the best player on the offensive line. That being said the Chargers need to find a left tackle of the future and they might feel like Tevi is not it. He will have a market if not re-signed.

Likelihood to return- Slim

C Dan Feeney – 27 years old, 2020 salary $932K

Feeney was the left guard for the last few years but switched to center last season. He was serviceable, but he did give up some sacks and quarterback hits. He had a strong relationship with Justin Herbert, and they grew as a combo. The Chargers want to upgrade the offensive line, so it is a toss-up if the former third round pick will be with the team or not.

Likelihood to return: Moderate

LG Forrest Lamp – 27 years old, 2020 salary $1.66 million

This was the first season that Lamp was healthy after mishaps his first three years. Lamp was available but had a rollercoaster type of season. He had some good games but struggled at times, so with the team wanting to upgrade the line there is no guarantee the second round draft pick will be back.

Likelihood to return: Moderate

C Mike Pouncey – 32 years old, 2020 salary $9 million

Pouncey came in 2018 and was a Pro Bowl center that season. He has had two injuries the last two seasons. He retired along with his brother, Maurkice.

Likelihood to return: None

LB Denzel Perryman – 29 years old, 2020 salary $6 million

Perryman was a solid contributor in 2020. He was able to make plays at times, but it feels like the writing is on the wall. Drue Tranquill will return from injury and Kenneth Murray will be the other starting middle linebacker. It feels like Perryman is the odd man out.

Likelihood to return: Slim

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QB Tyrod Taylor – 32 years old, 2020 salary $5.5 million

Taylor was the starter going into the 2020 season. He had the backing of the players and then head coach Anthony Lynn. In the first game of the season, he completed 53 percent of his passes for 208 yards in a victory over Cincinnati. He had a medical emergency after a rib injury and the Bolts turned into Herbert’s team. Expect Taylor to go to a team he can compete for a starting job. He feels like he can still be a starter in this league and will look for a team that he can earn a starting role.

Likelihood to return: Slim

CB Michael Davis – 26 years old, 2020 salary $3.25 million

Davis is coming off a strong 2020 season. He had some issues tackling at the beginning of the season but that went away quick. He had a 78-yard pick six against Tom Brady and the Bucs. He led the team in interceptions and led the secondary as the best cornerback. Davis has worked his way up since being an undrafted free agent. The Chargers need to get younger and have speed at corner, Davis fills that need.

Likelihood to return: High

TE Virgil Green – 33 years old, 2020 salary $2.86 million

Green has been a great run blocker for the team and at times has caught big time touchdowns. He is 33-years old and it seems like the Chargers liked the Donald Parham/Stephen Anderson combo. They both contributed late in the season. Green suffered a horrendous injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. It would be surprising if Green was a Charger next season.

Likelihood to return: Slim

OLB Nick Vigil – 28 years old, 2020 salary $2.4 million

He was the ultimate swiss army knife for the defense. It seems like when the ball was coughed up 59 was always there. Vigil had 50 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two recoveries. He was good on special teams as well. The Chargers could bring back Vigil as a backup and special teams player.

Likelihood to return: Moderate

DT Damion Square – 32 years old, 2020 salary $1.75 million

Square has been a serviceable player for his seven seasons with the Bolts. He has been a leader of this defense, but the Chargers may look to get younger here.

Likelihood to return: Slim

SS Jahleel Addae – 31 years old, 2020 salary $1.05 million

He was a middle of the season addition, who brings energy to the defense. The Bolts may most likely move on from him especially with Derwin James returning and the team look at other players to upgrade the position.

Likelihood to return: Slim

RG Ryan Groy – 31 years old, 2020 salary $910K

It seemed like at one-point Groy could be the starting right guard, but he sustained an injury and was put on the COVID-19/reserve list. The Chargers are looking to upgrade the offensive line, so Groy may not be back.

Likelihood to return: Slim

S Jaylen Watkins – 30 years old, 2020 salary $910K

Watkins is a hard-working player. He could be another casualty with James returning and it is also unknown what way Staley will use his secondary.

Likelihood to return: Slim

RB Kalen Ballage – 26 years old, 2020 salary $825K

Ballage came up to the roster in the second half of the season. He was a good addition, but he did average 3.3 yards per carry, which is not great. It is also a crowded backfield, so Ballage may be the odd man out.

Likelihood to return: Slim