Evaluating latest updates in Derwin James' contract talks with Chargers

Gavino Borquez
Chargers Wire

Chargers safety Derwin James is in the final year of his rookie contract, the fifth-year option the team picked up last May.

Los Angeles wants to sign him to a long-term deal, and James wants to remain in the blue and gold, which is why they are optimistic an extension can be reached ahead of training camp, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

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Fowler also notes that the expectation is that James will become the league’s highest-paid safety.

"The Chargers are optimistic they will reach a extension with star safety Derwin James, per sources," Fowler wrote on Twitter. "Players reporting to camp Tuesday could create urgency. Expectation from some in league is James, a 2023 FA and engine for L.A. defense, will be league’s highest-paid safety." 

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick reset the market last month when he signed a four-year, $72.988 million extension ($18.247 million AAV), the highest for a safety in the league.

After two injury-riddled seasons, James played his first full year since 2018.

With his ability to cover, stop the run, and pass rush, the queen piece on the chessboard finished with 118 tackles, seven for loss, five passes defended, two interceptions, and two sacks in 2021.

Now we wait and see what the presumed highest-paid safety’s earnings will look like.