Derwin James has not participated in LA Chargers training camp thus far as he is working out a new extension with the team. James is entering his fifth year in the NFL and instead of participating with juts his fifth-year option, James has instead opted to hold in until a new deal happens.
This hold in has been interesting compared to other similar instances as James has remained very engaged with what the Chargers are doing. Everything we have heard about a potential deal has been positive, with it seeming like a matter of when, not a matter of if.
That being said, every passing day does cast a bit more doubt on when this will happen and the last thing that fans or the team wants is this to start carrying over into the regular season. The sooner a deal gets done the better.
Chargers GM Tom Telesco appeared on the Pat McAfee Show on Thursday and admitted that a deal with James has taken longer than he would have liked. However, he ultimately ensured fans that an extension will get done with the superstar safety.
That is music to every Chargers fans' ears as James is the most important player on the defensive side of the football. Justin Herbert is the quarterback of the offense and James is the quarterback of the defense. It is that simple.
There are some risks in extending Derwin James that the Chargers simply have to accept
If I had to guess, my best guess would be that the delay in this happening is around guaranteed money. Nobody really has any inside info on the inter-workings of the deal as the Chargers run a very tight ship and reports don't often get out.
However, we already know what the dollar amount is going to be. James has to get as much, and most likely slightly more, than Minkah Fitzpatrick just got from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The starting price is four years, $73 million. Both sides know that.
The sticking point has to be guaranteed money. It is understandable if the Chargers are exercising slightly more caution in guaranteed money with James' injury history, while James' agents are obviously going to push for the most guaranteed money possible.
At some point the two sides are going to have to come to an agreement and it is probably going to be viewed as slightly risky by the Chargers. However, James is just that important to the team that they have to take that risk. It is well worth it.
Either way, James is not going to play in any preseason games (as most of the starters sit out) so there is not a huge rush in getting in done. The sooner the better, though, for all parties involved.