Derwin James staying engaged with Los Angeles Chargers throughout his ‘hold-in’

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Derwin James Jr. stood alongside pass-rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack on the sideline when the Los Angeles Chargers opened coaching camp this week.

However when Bosa and Mack jogged onto the sphere, James stayed behind.

A key playmaker on the Bolts’ revamped protection, James will not be taking part in practices till an settlement is reached on a contract extension. The protection is presently scheduled to earn $9 million this season within the last 12 months of his rookie deal.

“There’s full respect on either side,” coach Brandon Staley mentioned about ongoing negotiations between the Chargers and James’ agent, David Mulugheta. “They know the way a lot we love Derwin. Derwin is aware of how a lot we love him. We’re simply working via that course of proper now.”

James, 25, is just not anticipated to be made obtainable to reporters till an settlement is reached. Nonetheless, whereas representing the Chargers at a charitable occasion 4 days earlier than reporting to coaching camp, James advised ESPN, “Yeah, for certain,” when requested if felt good about the place negotiations stood.

James is anticipated to earn a deal that can place him among the many highest-paid safeties within the NFL. By means of 4 practices, James has stepped onto the sphere just for walk-throughs and to assist teammates throughout place group drills. He is obtained loads of assist in return.

“I have been speaking to him on the facet, clearly, and he is — I feel — doing the precise factor,” mentioned Bosa, who agreed to phrases on an extension two years in the past, solely hours forward of the deadline to report back to coaching camp. “He clearly deserves no matter he’ll get. He places in 100% each single day. He is simply making the perfect determination for him proper now.”

A two-time first-team All-Professional choice, James’ versatility and management is required amongst a unit that struggled final season however now has lofty expectations following the offseason acquisitions of Mack, cornerback J.C. Jackson and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day.

Navigating his first contract hold-in as a head coach, Staley has tried to specific persistence with the method and shied away from offering any expectation of when he’d like James to return to observe.

“Derwin has performed a lot NFL soccer, he is in all probability the least of our considerations,” mentioned Staley, who completed 9-8 and missed the playoffs in his first season as coach. “We’ll simply let this course of play out. As I discussed, and I imagine it is true, it is simply a part of the NFL — if you’re coping with a few of the greatest gamers and contracts like this, it takes a while. We’re working via it.”

In 15 video games final season, James recorded 117 tackles (tied for No. 3 in NFL amongst all defensive backs), intercepted two passes, pressured three fumbles and had two sacks.

The seventeenth general decide within the 2018 draft, James earned All-Professional and Professional Bowl recognition as a rookie earlier than enjoying solely 5 video games the next season due to a foot harm and lacking all the 2020 season due to a knee harm.

Following his second Professional Bowl look final February, James underwent surgical procedure on his left labrum and was restricted via the offseason program. He advised ESPN earlier than camp that he felt wholesome.

“That is the perfect I’ve felt within the final 4 years,” James mentioned. “And I can not wait to go.”

Teammates can’t wait to have him.

“That is a man that we undoubtedly want,” receiver Keenan Allen mentioned. “He is the guts of the protection, coronary heart of the workforce just about.”