The Los Angeles Chargers just spent big bucks on star pass rusher Joey Bosa. Now, they might have to spend big bucks on Bosa’s running mate. Three weeks after teammate Joey Bosa landed a historic five-year, $135 million contract extension, fellow defensive end Melvin Ingram is sitting out practice at training camp because he’s dissatisfied with his current deal, as The Athletic’s Daniel Popper reported Monday night.
The 31-year-old Ingram carries a $16.625 million salary cap hit in 2020, the largest on the Chargers’ roster, accounting for more than eight percent of L.A.’s entire cap. But none of Ingram’s $14 million base salary is guaranteed for 2020, and as Popper notes, any COVID-19-related shutdown of this season would push his unearned money to a future contract. The former first-round draft pick is also entering the final season of his four-year deal, leaving him set to hit free agency in 2021.
Ingram could be seeking “any number of possible outcomes” as he sits out practice, Popper reports. The pass rusher’s agent, David Mulugheta, told The Athletic he’s not after guaranteed money, so Ingram may simply be leveraging L.A. for a new deal ahead of free agency, or seeking “a signing bonus as an advance on his 2020 base salary.”
Either way, as Popper reported, there is no timetable for when the starting defensive end will return to practice.
Asked Monday about Ingram’s absence, which technically does not count as a holdout, preventing Ingram from drawing team fines, coach Anthony Lynn didn’t appear to take issue with the starter’s actions.
“Melvin Ingram is in meetings, he’s in walk-throughs, he’s at everything, individual,” he said. “What he [does] on the practice field, we’ll see later. But like I said earlier, that’s kind of company business, and I’m just going to leave it at that because I don’t have to talk about it right now.”
Drafted 18th overall by the Chargers in 2012, Ingram has been one of L.A.’s steadiest defensive starters over the last half-decade. After a slow start to his NFL career, in which he totaled just six sacks in his first three seasons, the South Carolina product has logged at least seven sacks in five straight years, twice hitting double digits. The three-time Pro Bowler, who finished with seven sacks opposite Bosa in 2019, landed a four-year, $66 million extension from L.A. in 2017 after receiving the team’s franchise tag.