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Derwin James staying engaged with Chargers during his ‘maintain-in’ – NFL Nation

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

But 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 security is at the moment scheduled to earn $9 million this season within the remaining 12 months of his rookie deal.

“There is full respect on both sides,” coach Brandon Staley mentioned about ongoing negotiations between the Chargers and James’ agent, David Mulugheta. “They know how much we love Derwin. Derwin knows how much we love him. We’re just working through that process right now.”

James, 25, shouldn’t be anticipated to be made out there to reporters till an settlement is reached. However, whereas representing the Chargers at a charitable occasion 4 days earlier than reporting to coaching camp, James informed ESPN, “Yeah, for sure,” when requested if felt good about the place negotiations stood.

James is anticipated to earn a deal that may place him among the many highest-paid safeties within the NFL. Through 4 practices, James has stepped onto the sphere just for stroll-throughs and to assist teammates during place group drills. He’s acquired loads of assist in return.

“I’ve been talking to him on the side, obviously, and he’s — I think — doing the right thing,” 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 obviously deserves whatever he’s going to get. He puts in 100 percent every single day. He’s just making the best decision for him right now.”

A two-time first-staff All-Pro 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 maintain-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 played so much NFL football, he’s probably the least of our concerns,” mentioned Staley, who completed 9-8 and missed the playoffs in his first season as coach. “We’re going to just let this process play out. As I mentioned, and I believe it’s true, it’s just part of the NFL — when you’re dealing with some of the best players and contracts like this, it takes some time. We’re working through it.”

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

The seventeenth general decide within the 2018 draft, James earned All-Pro and Pro 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 Pro Bowl look final February, James underwent surgical procedure on his left labrum and was restricted via the offseason program. He informed ESPN earlier than camp that he felt wholesome.

“This is the best I’ve felt in the last four years,” James mentioned. “And I can’t wait to go.”

Teammates can not wait to have him.

“That’s a guy that we definitely need,” receiver Keenan Allen mentioned. “He’s the heart of the defense, heart of the team pretty much.”

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