As the NFL training camp kicks off, Los Angeles Chargers star safety Derwin James is present at the camp, but he is not practicing with the team as they work on a contract extension.

Brandon Staley says that S Derwin James is not practicing because of contract negotiations. James is going through the walk-thru portions of practice.

— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) July 27, 2022

James enters his fifth season with the Chargers as he seeks to become the highest-paid safety in the NFL. Chargers coach Brandon Staley had this to say about James’ extension:

“He’s out here doing walkthroughs … He’s going to be working out, but he won’t be going full speed until that gets situated.”

Staley added:

“I think there’s full respect on both sides … They know how much we love Derwin. Derwin knows how much we love him. We’re just working through that process right now. We’re gonna let it take shape. When it does, he’ll be out there.”

There is little to no doubt that James gets the contract extension because of his locker room presence, quick decision-making while playing lights-out defense on the field, and arguably being the best all-around defender in the league.

Last season, James was named as a Pro Bowler. He recorded 118 tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks, and two interceptions. Prior to the 2021 campaign, James played in five games in 2019 due to a foot injury and missed all of 2020 due to a torn meniscus. He is a two-time Pro Bowler.

James’ teammates had high praise for the safety when asked about the contract extension hold-in.

Star wide-receiver Keenan Allen said in a tweet: “I’m pretty sure they’ll get that handled. That’s a guy we definitely need. He’s the heart of the defense. He’s the heart of the team.”

Chargers star edge-rusher Joey Bosa said in a Thursday press conference, according to Yahoo Sports:

“He puts in 100 percent every single day, so he’s just making the best decision for him right now. But the fact that he’s out here coaching the guys, fully involved, 100 percent locked in every day, it obviously means a lot to all of us. …

He obviously deserves whatever he’s going to get … He’s obviously one of the best, if not the best, at his position in the whole league.”

In 2018, former NFL player and current NFL broadcaster, Louis Riddick, said this about James on Twitter:

“Derwin James is special. He can do everything you need a safety to do on the field in today’s game. He has the same body language of another safety I scouted a long time ago who I hold in THE highest regard.”

The Chargers made big additions during the offseason, especially on the defensive end, adding star edge-rusher Khalil Mack, star cornerback J.C. Jackson, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day.

The Chargers will host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 of the NFL season.