In the midst of NFL training camp, Los Angeles Chargers star safety Derwin James is in attendance, however he isn't training with the team because they are working on an extension of their contract.
James is beginning his 5th season for the Chargers as he looks to become the highest-paid safety on the NFL. Chargers head coach Brandon Staley had this to add about James’ extension:
“He's out here doing walkthroughs … He's going to be working out, but he won't be going full speed until that gets situated.”
“I think there’s full respect on both sides … They know how much we love Derwin. Derwin knows how much we love him. We’re just working through that process right now. We’re gonna let it take shape. When it does, he’ll be out there.”
There's no doubt that James receives the contract extension due to his presence in the locker room, quick decision-making when playing lights-out defense on the football field, and being the best defensive player.
The previous year, James was named as an NFL Pro Bowler. He had 118 tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks, and two interceptions. Prior to the 2021 season, James played in five games in 2019 because of an injury to his foot. He was out for all of 2020 due to his meniscus being torn. He has been a two-time Pro Bowler.
James' teammates gave high praise for his safety when they were asked about the extension.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen stated in an Instagram post: “I’m pretty sure they’ll get that handled. That’s a guy we definitely need. He’s the heart of the defense. He’s the heart of the team.”
Chargers leading edge-rusher Joey Bosa said in a press conference held on Thursday, according to Yahoo Sports:
“He puts in 100 percent every single day, so he’s just making the best decision for him right now. But the fact that he’s out here coaching the guys, fully involved, 100 percent locked in every day, it obviously means a lot to all of us. …
He obviously deserves whatever he’s going to get … He’s obviously one of the best, if not the best, at his position in the whole league.”
In 2018, a former NFL player and the current NFL television broadcaster Louis Riddick, stated the following regarding James in a tweet:
“Derwin James is special. He can do everything you need a safety to do on the field in today’s game. He has the same body language of another safety I scouted a long time ago who I hold in THE highest regard.”
The Chargers have added several players in the offseason, particularly on the defensive side with the addition of leading edge-rusher Khalil Mak, star cornerback J.C. Jackson, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and Sebastian Joseph-Day, a defensive tackle.
The Chargers will play against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 of the NFL season.