NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Derwin James Contract, Jessie Bates III Trade and More
The week that plenty of football fans likely had circled on the calendar has arrived. On Tuesday, the majority of NFL teams will fully open training camp, beginning the buildup to the 2022 season.
Several teams have already started camp. The Las Vegas Raiders' mandatory report date for all players was last Wednesday, while the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams began Saturday. The league's other 29 teams all open full camp on Tuesday.
While many players will be focused solely on the upcoming season, others are still trying to negotiate new contracts this summer. And it's possible some of these situations could impact a player's status with their team, at least during the preseason.
Here's some of the latest contract buzz from around the NFL heading into the start of training camp.
Chargers 'Optimistic' About Extension for James
When healthy, Derwin James has been among the best safeties in the NFL since entering the league in 2018.
The 25-year-old was a Pro Bowler during his rookie season and earned that honor again in 2021. It makes sense that the Los Angeles Chargers would like to have him around for the long term.
However, James is entering the final season of his contract. So if the Chargers are going to keep him from hitting free agency next offseason, they'll need to work out a deal.
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Los Angeles is "optimistic" it will be able to sign the Florida State product to an extension. And it's possible the two sides could agree to terms in the near future.
"Players reporting to camp Tuesday could create urgency," Fowler said, adding that some in the league think James will end up as the NFL's highest paid safety.
James is coming off an impressive 2021 season in which he collected a career-high 118 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and three forced fumbles in 15 games. That came after he was limited to five games in 2019 and missed all of 2020 due to injuries.
Bates Unlikely to Get Traded by Bengals?
Things haven't been going great between the Cincinnati Bengals and safety Jessie Bates III in recent weeks.
After receiving the franchise tag earlier this offseason, the 25-year-old didn't sign a new deal with the team prior to the July 15 deadline for tagged players to do so.
Bates has made it known he won't be playing on the franchise tag, and USA Today's Tyler Dragon reported that he has "no intentions" of joining Cincinnati's training camp this week.
With both sides at a standstill, is it possible the Bengals will consider trading the Wake Forest product? It doesn't seem like it, at least not at this point.
Fowler noted during a recent appearance on Pro Football Focus' Ari Meirov NFL Show that Cincinnati isn't ready to part ways with him, despite the current situation.
"The Bengals haven't shown a willingness to trade him," Fowler said.
For now, it's unclear what's next for Bates. But if he misses regular-season games, Cincinnati's secondary will be without one of its top contributors, who recorded 88 tackles and one interception in 15 games in 2021.
Pair of Raiders Players Seeking New Deals
While many NFL players aren't yet at training camp, everybody has reported for the Raiders, which fully opened camp last Wednesday.
Shortly after, it became known that two key Las Vegas players are seeking new deals this summer.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, tight end Darren Waller and linebacker Denzel Perryman are "looking to get new contracts" from the team.
Waller has had conversations with the team, per Rapoport, who noted it was a "good sign" that the 29-year-old showed up for the start of training camp. He signed a four-year, $29.8 million extension in 2019, so he isn't set to become a free agent until 2024.
Perryman spent his first six NFL seasons with the Chargers before signing with the Carolina Panthers in March 2021, then getting traded to the Raiders five months later.
The Miami product, also 29, had a career-high 154 tackles in 15 games for Las Vegas last season while earning his first Pro Bowl nod.