The Los Angeles Chargers and All-Pro safety Derwin James have agreed to terms on a four-year, $76.4 million contract extension making James the highest-paid safety in NFL history, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Earlier this week, head coach Brandon Staley described James as an “impact player” and “the heartbeat of our defense”. Fast forward a day later, and James lands a historic deal that will keep him in Los Angeles for the future.
“When I see him, I’m like, ‘That’s a defensive back,’ because he can play anywhere,” Staley said of James on Tuesday. “He can play either safety spot, he can play corner. … He can rush the quarterback and make an impact as a blitzer, he can make an impact in man-to-man coverage, and then he can make an impact in zone defense, whether he’s playing low or high — and he’s our signal-caller and the heartbeat of our defense.”
James, 26, reported to training camp but remained a “hold in” over the last few weeks, missing 14 practices in total as contract negotiations played out.
The 2018 first round pick has collected 257 tackles, 5.5 sacks, five interceptions and three forced fumbles in his career.