A new NFL trend has emerged over the past few days.
Before, players who were negotiating a new contract did not participate in training camp.
They would stay away from the team until their new deal has been finalized and signed.
But safety Derwin James did the opposite by holding in with the Los Angeles Chargers.
He continued to compete during practices and performed what his coaches asked him to do.
In return, the strategy paid off and NFL insider Andrew Brandt took notice.
Hold-ins > Holdouts.
Now we wait for Roquan.. https://t.co/sDPKGQBE0a
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) August 17, 2022
Could other players seeing a big payday follow James’ lead?
Brandt would like to see if Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith would do the same thing.
Smith has demanded a trade from the squad and there hasn’t been some clarity on that cause.
If he were to copy James, he will still be in training until the trade is finalized.
James Got The Bag
Holding in earned James a four-year, $76.5 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid safety in terms of annual average value.
His deal reset the market by edging Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s average value by around $900,000 annually.
The timing of the deal is just right because he will be playing the 2022 season under a fifth-year option worth $9 million.
James will be getting $42 million in guaranteed money from this deal, including $38.5 million at signing.
That smaller amount consists of his $20.5 million signing bonus, $4 million base salary for 2022, $2 million 2023 base salary, and $12 million option bonus.
He will also get $3.4 million of his 2024 salary in March 2023.
James can also get roster bonuses worth $3 million each in 2025 and 2026.
The contract has an opt-out before the 2025 season wherein James could earn a base salary of $13.75 million.
He could also get a $14 million base salary in 2026.