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Chargers' Derwin James Will Report to Training Camp with or Without New Contract

Erin WalshJuly 22, 2022

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Derwin James, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, is in search of an extension entering the 2022 campaign, but that won't prevent him from reporting to training camp with the Los Angeles Chargers next week, he said Friday.

"Oh, yeah, I will definitely be there," James told ESPN's Lindsey Thiry.

James added: "My agent is handling that. I'm not even sure where they're at, but I'm pretty sure my guy, he's doing the best for me. I know he's doing his thing for me."

James is set to earn $9.1 million in 2022.

The Chargers are "optimistic they will reach [an] extension" with James, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported earlier this week, and the "expectation" is that he will become the NFL's highest-paid safety.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jamal Adams and Harrison Smith are currently the league's highest-paid safeties, with each averaging at least $16 million per year, according to Over the Cap.

The 25-year-old James has been a staple in L.A.'s secondary since being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft.

During his rookie season, James recorded 3.5 sacks, three interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 105 tackles en route to being named a Pro Bowler. He also earned a first-team All-Pro selection and finished second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

However, James was limited to just five games in 2019 after beginning the season on injured reserve with a right foot injury. He also missed the entire 2020 campaign with a knee injury.

James returned to full strength in 2021 and posted two sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, three forced fumbles and 118 tackles in 15 games. He was named a Pro Bowler and finished third in Comeback Player of the Year voting.

The Florida State product is expected to be a significant part of the team's secondary in 2022. However, he has been limited throughout L.A.'s offseason program after undergoing shoulder surgery in February.

He confirmed to ESPN that he is fully healthy and ready to go for 2022.

"This is the best I've felt in the last four years, and I can't wait to go," James said.

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