The biggest story surrounding LA Chargers training camp is Derwin James holding in while he works out a new contract extension with the team. James would be playing on his fifth-year rookie option without the protection of getting a guaranteed deal done for multiple seasons.
While the hold-in has lasted longer than fans and even the team would have liked, there is still positivity around the situation. James remains engaged in training camp from a non-physical standpoint and everything that we have heard from Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley has been promising.
That being said, it is okay as a fan to feel uneasy until something gets done. These contract talks can drag and escalate quickly and no fan wants to see a Chargers team without Derwin James. The franchise knows that.
One thing that is completely off the table is James playing for another team in 2022. However, that is what Alex Kay of Bleacher Report suggests as they named Derwin James as one of five NFL stars that could request a trade next.
"If the extension talks continue to drag out, the Bolts risk further alienating their star defender. With James heading into the final year of his rookie contract, he might wind up requesting a trade if he can't come to terms with the Chargers."
While sometimes these kinds of situations do elevate to a trade request, there is no chance that Derwin James will be traded and play for a different team during the 2022 season.
Why the LA Chargers will never trade Derwin James:
I mean, it is pretty self-explanatory: he is Derwin James. He is the quarterback of the defense and is the most important player on the defensive side of the ball. If the Chargers make a Super Bowl run this season it has to be with James on the field.
But just from a logistical standpoint, a trade does not make sense. The entire thing that James wants is a contract extension and by demanding a trade, the Chargers would have to find a trade partner that is willing to sign him to that extension before the season starts.
Teams outside of LA that have not seen James in-house are going to be more concerned with his injury past and probably won't be willing to sign him to an extension before the season. The Chargers know that, James and his agent know that.
Plus, as we learn every single time when one of these instances happen, money means a lot and the two sides will get something done 90% of the time if it is an important player. It seemed inevitable that Deebo Samuel would be traded and all it took was the two sides sitting down and working out a new deal.
The Chargers and James will eventually work out a deal as the two sides don't have any reason to rush this process. Keeping James healthy is obviously not a bad thing and it is not like he has to learn a new defense. He is not going to play in the preseason regardless and as long as the Bolts get a deal done before Week 1 he will be just fine.
A Derwin James trade would be the most ludicrous thing that Tom Telesco has done as the general manager of the LA Chargers and he knows that. It will not happen.