NFL free agency: Predicting where top 25 projected players land in 2022

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Derwin James
Derwin James (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

. Safety. Las Vegas Raiders. Derwin James. 24. player. 28

2022 NFL free agency: Derwin James to Las Vegas Raiders

*Updated Oct 1st – Chargers pick up his 5th year option so don’t expect James to go anywhere*

This season is going to be awfully important for LA Chargers safety Derwin James, who looked like a bona fide Hall of Famer in the making during his 2018 first-team All-Pro rookie season before dealing with some serious injuries in 2019 and 2020.

The Chargers likely won’t want to be patient with another oft-injured first-round defensive back, just like what they endured with cornerback Jason Verrett some years before. James dealt with a foot fracture in 2019, which limited him to just five games, and then he missed all of the following year with a torn meniscus.

James could turn it around, of course. And when he’s on the field, he’s one of the most formidable defenders in the league. That’s going to be the hope at least.

Still, injury concerns could mean LA moves on from James after 2021.
It would be a perfect scenario for the Las Vegas Raiders, still needing a quality safety to pluck away from a player of James’ caliber from a division rival. James could easily be a lockdown defender and cornerstone piece in Vegas.

And even though the Raiders should have no problems with cap space, James’ injury history should make him a relatively affordable player, who when healthy, can be a perennial All-Pro.