Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has signed a franchise tender, a source confirmed to ESPN. Henry will earn $10.6 million on the one-year deal, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.
The Chargers and Henry can continue to negotiate a long-term extension until the July 15 deadline.
NFL Network first reported Henry’s signing.
The Chargers drafted Henry in the second round (No. 35 overall) from Arkansas in 2016. Through four seasons, Henry has excelled on the field — he averages 12.6 yards per catch — but he has been slowed by injuries.
At the NFL scouting combine in February, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn emphasized Henry’s importance to the team. “He’s one of the better combo tight ends in the game as far as blocking and receiving, and just what he brings to the locker room in terms of his character and work ethic,” Lynn said.
In 12 games last season, Henry caught 55 passes for 652 yards — both career highs — and five touchdowns. He was sidelined for four games after injuring his left knee in the season opener.
Henry also was sidelined for the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during the offseason program.
In 41 career games, Henry has caught 136 passes for 1,709 yards and 17 touchdowns.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.