Chargers place franchise tag on outside linebacker Melvin Ingram

The team announced its decision Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 to franchise Ingram, the pass-rushing dynamo with 18 1/2 sacks over the past two seasons.

The Los Angeles Chargers are expected to place the franchise tag on defensive end Melvin Ingram by Wednesday's March 1 deadline, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.

The Chargers on Monday used the franchise tag on linebacker Melvin Ingram, who has recorded 18.5 sacks during the past two seasons. If the Chargers decline to match, the Chargers would receive two first-round draft picks from the new team.

There was no other prospective free agent on the roster even remotely worth considering franchising other than Ingram, and it was best that the team at least locked him in for another season. According to Chargers.com, they have placed the "non exclusive" tag on Ingram, meaning that other teams are allowed to negotiate and sign Melvin Ingram to a contract that the Chargers are allowed to match.

It's getting very hard for teams to add a veteran pass rusher, and free agency hasn't even started yet. He and the Chargers can work on a long-term deal until July 15. Ingram's presence across from Joey Bosa, the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, gives the Chargers' defensive front a pair of outstanding bookends as it transitions to a 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

Ingram had health issues in his first three National Football League seasons, but has played every game in the past two years.

"Former NFL agent and current salary cap expert with CBS Sports, Joel Corry, recently told USA TODAY Sports Media Group that Ingram should expect to make approximately "$13.5 million-$14 million depending [on] where the 2017 salary cap comes in" as a DE.

The Chargers also reap the benefit of all of the years they have put in developing Ingram into one of the more polished pass-rushers in the game.

  • Julie Sanders