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Los Angeles Chargers 2021 free-agency outlook

The Chargers have a new head coach, quality draft and salary-cap resources, and the chance to make material changes to their roster during the 2021 offseason.

Hunter Henry #86 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers enter the 2021 offseason with a new coaching staff and a new direction. The team fired head coach Anthony Lynn after back-to-back disappointing seasons and replaced him with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley — a move aimed at bringing a more analytical approach to game management and building around quarterback Justin Herbert.

Lost revenue due to COVID-19 will impact every team. However, with so many free agents, the league-wide drop in salary-cap space could make things difficult. The 2020 number came in around $198 million with the 2021 number potentially falling to $180.5 million, according to Over The Cap, but is subject to change.

Options for franchise/transition tags

Unlike much of the league, the Chargers find themselves well-positioned to use the franchise or transition tag. Last year, they opted to use the former on star tight end Hunter Henry, who turned in another solid season (60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns). Henry will cost more to franchise again, but with no obvious replacement currently on the roster, Los Angeles could go down that path again if it can’t come to an agreement on a multiyear deal.

Most of the other starters scheduled to hit free agency seem far less likely to receive a tag. Offensive linemen Dan Feeney, Forrest Lamp, and Sam Tevi have not performed well enough to justify the mid-eight-figure salary that comes with the franchise tag, and center Mike Pouncey missed most of the last two seasons with severe neck and hip injuries. Melvin Ingram has also battled injuries since 2019 and appears to have played his last down for the Chargers.

Salary cap

Estimated 2021 cap space (Feb. 2): $19,671,246

2021 transactions

Free-agent signings


Free-agent departures




Notable unrestricted free agents

* Denotes Restricted Free Agent (RFA)

Chargers 2021 Free Agents

Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
QB Tyrod Taylor Chargers
RB Kalen Ballage* Chargers
TE Stephen Anderson* Chargers
TE Hunter Henry Chargers
TE Virgil Green Chargers
LT Cole Toner* Chargers
LT Sam Tevi Chargers
LG Forrest Lamp Chargers
LG Ryan Groy Chargers
C Dan Feeney Chargers
C Mike Pouncey Chargers
EDGE Isaac Rochell* Chargers
EDGE Melvin Ingram Chargers
DT Damion Square Chargers
LB B.J. Bello* Chargers
LB Malik Jefferson* Chargers
LB Denzel Perryman Chargers
LB Nick Vigil Chargers
CB Brandon Facyson* Chargers
CB Michael Davis Chargers
S Rayshawn Jenkins Chargers
S Jahleel Addae Chargers
S Jaylen Watkins Chargers
K Michael Badgley* Chargers