Chargers Derwin James Cashes Out
A lot has taken place this offseason as many teams are adding the finishing touches to their roster as the season nears. However, big news came out this morning in Los Angeles revolving around the Chargers.
Chargers star safety Derwin James signed a massive four-year extension with the team that’ll pay him $76.4 million in total, with an average yearly pay of $19.1 million. This deal makes James the highest-paid safety in NFL history. The agreement also includes $42 million guaranteed to help sweeten the deal even more for James.
Before entering the NFL, James took his talents to Florida State University, where he played his whole collegiate career. During his time at Florida State, James made the All-ACC first team in his final years at Florida State, in 2016 and 2017. He also earned All-American honors when he was selected to the first team in 2017.
After his 2017 season, James announced that he would declare for the NFL draft in 2018, leaving Florida State a year earlier. James was drafted in the first round by the Chargers with the 17th overall pick.
Although injuries have plagued his young career in Los Angeles since he’s played only 36 games out of 66 games in his four years of NFL experience, James has been one of the team’s centerpieces, especially on defense.
In his first year in Los Angeles, James was named to the pro bowl as he finished with three and a half sacks, three interceptions, 13 passes defended, and 105 total tackles. He also finished second in DROTY voting, behind Indianapolis Colts Darius Leonard. That same season, James stood out so much that he was named to the NFL all-pro first team.
James didn’t see much action in the 2019 season due to a stress fracture in his right foot, which kept him out until November 30th, when he was activated to return from the injured reserve, playing only five games. Then, in 2020, James was placed on season-ending injured reserve after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, causing him to miss the whole season.
Last season, James returned and played 15 games. He finished with two interceptions, forced three fumbles, and defended five passes, two sacks, and a career-high 118 total tackles, which was enough to get him named to the pro bowl and first-team all-pro again.
With the Chargers making moves this offseason as they gear up for a big season ahead of them that will present many challenges, James looks to stay healthy and become a big part of the Chargers’ rise.