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Chargers use franchise tag for TE Hunter Henry

The Chargers are keeping one of their best playmakers around.

Los Angeles has franchise tagged tight end Hunter Henry, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, per a source informed of the situation. The Chargers later confirmed the news.

Though injuries have plagued Henry's three seasons, his talent and potential have still shined through.

Showing up as the No. 20 free agent via NFL.com's top 101 prior to the franchise tag, Henry is still just 25 and has shown the breakout talent as a pass-catcher to warrant the the patience.

Having yet to play a full season since he was selected in the 2016 second round, Henry played 12 games in 2019 and tallied 55 receptions for 652 yards and five touchdowns.

Henry was the No. 11 rated tight end in 2019 -- tabbed with a 73.2 grade from Pro Football Focus. He is likely to be fitted for a long-term deal from the Bolts as a building block for the future.

However, for the duration of his NFL days, quarterback Philip Rivers has been the one connecting with Henry and that will change. But Henry's been tagged to stay put for the Bolts and provide them with one certainty on offense going forward.

In addition to announcing the news on Henry, the Chargers also released linebacker Thomas Davis and nose tackle Brandon Mebane, each of them starters.

On a busy Friday for the Bolts, it didn't stop there, as Rapoport reported that linebacker Denzel Perryman agreed to a restructured contract with L.A. The move will keep Perryman with the Chargers for another season. Rapoport added that Perry was originally slated to make more than $6 million in 2020 and incentives can now get him to that number.

In 2019, Perryman made 10 starts in 14 games' worth of action, posting 68 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.

It was the 36-year-old Davis in his first and now only season with the Chargers who led the team with 112 tackles.

Mebane, a 13-year veteran who played the last four with the Chargers, had 27 tackles.

"This is a difficult time of the year due to the tough decisions we are forced to make concerning the direction of our football team in 2020 and beyond," L.A. general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement regarding Davis and Mebane's releases. "Oftentimes, these decisions hurt on a personal level. This is certainly one of those times."

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