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Chargers set to extend star safety Derwin James for four years, $76.5 million

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Aug. 17 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Aug. 17 AM Edition) 01:57

The Chargers are set to make Derwin James the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

According to several reports, James and the Chargers agreed to terms on a four-year, $76.5 million contract extension on Wednesday. The deal, which comes with a $42 million signing bonus, puts James at just over $19 million a year. 

The agreement comes at the tail end of a number of practices which James missed as negotiations between his team and the Chargers continued. 

2022 would have been the final year of James' rookie contract, after the Chargers exercised their team option which guarantees him $9.05 million for the season. On top of the new deal, and James will remain with the team through the 2026 season.

James, now 26-years-old, is a two-time First Team All-Pro and has been named to two Pro Bowls. After getting drafted No. 17 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, he's appeared in just 36 games with the Bolts. But in that time, James has racked up 257 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, 19 pass deflections, three forced fumbles and five interceptions. 

While early numbers are impressive, he's missed considerable time due to a slew of injuries having missed the entire 2020-21 season due to a torn meniscus and nine games in 2019 due to a stress fracture in his foot. Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, he received surgery for a torn labrum.

However, when healthy James has solidified himself as one of the league's top talents, logging more than 100 tackles in each full season he's suited up for.

The Chargers have often described James as an impact player, and believe his skillset will be complemented nicely by a number of offseason additions to the defense that include five-time All-Pro linebacker and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, Super Bowl Champion cornerback J.C. Jackson and three defensive linemen, including Super Bowl LVI Champion Sebastian Joseph-Day.

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