The Chargers offense had a lot of production from the tight end position in 2020. They had numerous tight ends step up at certain times, which helped Justin Herbert especially on third down. There is a lot of question marks heading into free agency with the tight end position because they only have one under contract for 2021.
Lock: Donald Parham
Free agents: Hunter Henry, Virgil Green, Stephen Anderson, Matt Sokol
The good: Hunter Henry took three steps forward in 2020. He caught 60 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns. He also averaged 10.2 yards per catch. The area Henry really took his game to the next level was blocking. He prided himself on being able to help in the run game and be a complete tight end. The Chargers found a hidden XFL gem in tight end, Donald Parham. He is a 6’8 jump ball mismatch who was used as a red zone weapon until the back end of the season. The Chargers also saw a boost from Stephen Anderson at the end of the season. He improved as a pass-catcher and is working towards being a better blocker.
The bad: They need more consistency from the position when it comes to blocking. Henry is already a top-blocking tight end, but the team will need others at the position to step up in that area. Parham could have a big role in 2021, but he needs to get better at blocking. The offensive line should be better in 2021, so the team will need better blocking all around.
The money: The Chargers only have $780,000 cap hit heading into 2021 at the tight end position with Parham. They have cap space to work with to improve the tight end position. Their priority will be trying to re-sign Henry. General manager Tom Telesco’s philosophy is to draft players, develop them, and re-sign them. They have around $24 million to work with but can cut players to free up more cap.
Draft priority: It really depends on if they re-sign Henry or not. If they don’t, along with no tight end signing in free agency, it will be interesting to see if Kyle Pitts becomes a priority in the first round for the Bolts. The tight end position is heavy in the draft. There are some tight ends in free agency, so it will be interesting to see how they will decide to attack this position. Henry will be owed anywhere from $10-$13 million, so the Bolts will need to decide if he is worth the money.