The Los Angeles Chargers have all of their 2018 rookies under contract with the signing of Derwin James.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Chargers and first-round safety Derwin James have agreed to a four-year, $12.39 million deal that includes a $7.1 million signing bonus.
Whew! We don’t have to deal with any contract dispute. You know, like the one the Chargers and 2016 first-rounder Joey Bosa put us through. With James, the No. 17 overall pick in the draft, under contract, the Chargers have signed all of their 2018 draft picks, including James, second-round linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, third-round defensive tackle Justin Jones, fourth-round linebacker Kyzir White, fifth-round center/guard Scott Quessenberry, sixth-round receiver Dylan Cantrell and seventh-round running back Justin Jackson.
James was a steal for the Chargers. He was mocked to go in the top 10 by almost every analyst and scout. Not only was he the best player available when the Chargers were on the clock, but he was a top need for them, too. Tre Boston, last year’s starting free safety, was never re-signed; he remains an unrestricted free agent.
James will join a secondary loaded with talent. The Chargers have arguably the deepest cornerback group in the league, with Casey Hayward, Jason Verrett, Trevor Williams and Desmond King on the roster. James, an interchangable safety who can line up all over the field, will likely start opposite of Jahleel Addae, who is one of the better strong safeties in the league.
The Chargers’ defense is on the rise, and it could end up being a top-five unit by the end of the season IF everyone stays healthy.