- Melvin Ingram is one of the top pass rushers in NFL free agency
- As a free agent, Ingram is destined to have a lot of potential suitors
- Which teams could pursue Ingram this offseason?
The pass rushing dominoes in NFL free agency have already started to fall this offseason. J.J. Watt signed with the Arizona Cardinals earlier in the week, and more players who can get after the quarterback will find new homes in the coming few weeks. Edge rusher Melvin Ingram, who has played his entire career with the Chargers, may be leaving Southern California for the first time in his career.
Ingram has had a very up and down career thus far. In his 9 years in the league, he’s posted 10 sacks in two of those seasons. He’s also played 9 games or fewer in 3 seasons, including last year, where he was only available for 7 contests. When healthy though, he has formed one of the better edge duos in the NFL with teammate Joey Bosa.
Ingram’s free agent market is going to be intriguing, since his contract year was not exactly a head-turner. He’s estimated to receive a deal that is around $11 million per season, but might get squeezed at a lower number due to his lack of recent success. This could put him in play for nearly half of the NFL, which could result in prolonged negotiations.
IM STEPPING ON EVERYTHING I TOUCH THIS YEAR!! 🦍
— KINGMEL (@MelvinIngram) January 19, 2021
A lot of teams could make a play for the 31-year-old, but which should make him prioritize Melvin Ingram’s free agency?
Ingram free agency landing spot: Titans
Even though the Titans brought in Jadeveon Clowney just before the 2020 season, Tennessee’s pass rush left a lot to be desired last year.
They were third to last in total sacks. They will once again look to fix that issue this offseason. Because they are in win now mode, bringing Ingram into the fold could fit nicely with their timeline.
The Titans are projected to be a middle of the pack team when it comes to available cap space, so they may need to hope for a prolonged cold market for Ingram in order for his price to drop. They were fortunate enough to have that happen with Clowney, and could benefit from it again if they remain patient.
Ingram free agency landing spot: Washington
It was no surprise that Washington’s defensive line was the standout unit for the team last season. They’ve invested significant draft capital in that area recently, headlined by Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Head coach Ron Rivera is a former NFL linebacker, and prides himself on having stout defensive units.
Since it doesn’t seem like Washington will have an offense good enough to win shootouts in 2021 either, it’s possible they double down on the other side of the ball.
They were top 10 in total sacks a year ago, but may opt to dial up the pressure up front to a downright intimidating level moving forward.
Next season they gotta make a rule where coaches can get benched just like players 😂🤷🏾♂️
— KINGMEL (@MelvinIngram) January 4, 2021
Washington has an estimated $32 million in cap space. They could quickly sign Ingram to a deal if they meet or exceed his asking price.
Ingram free agency landing spot: Chargers
Despite his down season last year, it is also entirely possible Ingram returns to the only NFL home he’s ever known.
The Chargers have an interesting organizational decision to make this offseason. Do they try to tread water since they play in a division with the dynastic Kansas City Chiefs? Or do they try to push their chips into the middle of the table while Justin Herbert is still on his rookie contract?
Los Angeles may want to take advantage of paying their quarterback a manageable salary by loading up other areas of the team. They may not want to take a step back in 2021 while in this window, which makes them a strong candidate to retain Ingram.
As we saw in the Super Bowl, consistent pressure can rattle even the best of quarterbacks. Bringing Ingram back into the fold for a potential bounce back season could help them generate the disruption Mahomes and other quarterbacks despise facing.
For more Melvin Ingram free agent news and updates on the NFL offseason, subscribe to Franchise Sports updates.