Chargers Make Derwin James Highest-Paid Safety In The League

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A 36-game sample size, in four seasons, is all the Chargers needed to make Derwin James the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Los Angeles Chargers agreed to a record-breaking extension with James. The deal will total four years and $74 million, with $42 million in guaranteed money.

The Chargers picked up James’ fifth-year contract option in 2021, netting him $9 million in annual pay. The 2018 first-round strong safety will now be paid $19 million per year.

Both the 2019 and 2020 seasons were hindered by injury for James. In 2019, a stress fracture in his right foot landed him on injured reserve after only five games. James missed the entirety of the 2020 season due to surgery on a torn meniscus.

When healthy, James has balled out like a premier NFL safety.

In 2018 and 2021, James reached Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors. He eclipsed 100 tackles in both campaigns and has accrued 19 passes defended in 36 games played.

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has been regarded as one of the League’s top young defensive coaches ever since he turned the Los Angeles Rams defense into the NFL’s best unit in 2020. With James, Joey Bosa, JC Jackson and Khalil Mack, expect the Chargers defense to be a stout unit in 2022.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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