Derwin James Is the NFL's Highest Paid Safety — Here's How Much He's Earning

Derwin James has emerged as one of the best safeties in the NFL. And because of his success in the league, the Los Angeles Chargers awarded their star safety with a new contract. The new deal made James the highest-paid safety in the NFL. But how much is the 26-year-old making? 

As mentioned by Spotrac, James signed a four-year contract worth $76.4 million. He will earn $42 million in guaranteed money and have an average salary of a little over $19 million per year. Spotrac says that James earned $38.5 million guaranteed at signing, which includes the signing bonus, this year's salary, next year's salary and next year's option bonus. 

James was a "hold-in" at training camp, meaning he reported to camp on time but has not taken part in the Chargers' 14 practices. However, the 26-year-old participated in walk-throughs and individual agility drills. The contract extension for James comes as the team traded for superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack and singing cornerback J.C. Jackson to an $82.5 million contract in free agency. 

"For myself, just being more of that leader," James said in May when asked what he's bringing to the 2022 season. "Being more of that vocal leader that we need on defense and the locker room. Just taking that to another level. Showing up every day and leading a great example for the young guys coming in like JT Woods and Khalil Mack. They're new here. [Mack] is a veteran guy, but just showing them how we do things around here. I feel like that's going to help our team." 


James was selected by the Chargers at No. 17 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro First Team during his rookie season after registering 105 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and 13 passes defended. In 2019 and 2020 James only played in a combined five games as he suffered multiple injuries. He came back strong last year, tallying 118 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions with five passes defended. He was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro First Team for the second time in his career.