The Los Angeles Chargers placed the franchise tag on Melvin Ingram in February, hoping they’d eventually be able to work out a long-term contract with the speedy edge rusher.
On Sunday they announced they’ve done just that, agreeing to terms on a four-year deal with number 54 to keep the speedy edge rusher in the fold for the foreseeable future.
Ingram has totaled 224 tackles, 46 tackles for loss and 24.5 sacks in five seasons since the Chargers selected him with the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of South Carolina. Over the past two seasons, the 28-year old emerged as one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL. He’s appeared in all 32 games over that span while his 18.5 sacks are tied for the 12th most in the league.
The 6-2, 247-pound Ingram played in all 16 games his rookie year, but was limited to only 13 regular season games in 2013-14 after suffering multiple injuries. He tore his ACL during offseason workouts in 2013, but rehabbed tirelessly to return for the final four regular season games. The Chargers went undefeated over that stretch to reach the postseason. Ingram made a splash in the Bolts’ Wild Card win over the Cincinnati Bengals, intercepting Andy Dalton for his first career pick.
Unfortunately, a hip injury sustained after Week 2 of the 2014 season forced him to the Reserve-Injured, Designated to Return list. He came back strong, playing in the final seven games of the season while notching four sacks and seven tackles for loss on the year.
Ingram transformed his body the following offseason, coinciding with a breakout 2015 campaign. He became the first Charger to record double-digit sacks (10.5) since Antwan Barnes in 2011, and set career-highs in tackles (76), tackles for loss (19) and forced fumbles (four).
The edge rusher continued to wreak havoc last season, ranking second on the team with eight sacks. He also totaled 66 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and a team-high 23 QB hits. Ingram was named a defensive captain in early 2016, and combined with Joey Bosa to form one of the NFL’s most dangerous pass-rush tandems.