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Derwin James says he plans to report to Los Angeles Chargers camp with or without contract extension

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Chargers are scheduled to open training camp next week, and All-Pro safety Derwin James is prepared to report regardless of whether he has a contract extension in hand.

"Oh, yeah, I will definitely be there," James told ESPN on Friday after surprising students at Jordan High School in Watts with a renovated weight room, football helmets and visors as part of the Chargers Impact Fund.

The 17th overall draft pick in 2018, James is entering the fifth and final season of his rookie contract and is scheduled to earn $9 million.

James provided few details about a possible extension, but he told ESPN, "Yeah, for sure," when asked if he felt good about where the situation stood.

"My agent is handling that," James said. "I'm not even sure where they're at, but I'm pretty sure my guy, he's doing the best for me. I know he's doing his thing for me."

James, 25, is represented by David Mulugheta of Athletes First, who previously secured record-breaking deals for cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safety Budda Baker, among others.

The Chargers are optimistic a long-term deal will be reached, perhaps as soon as when players report Tuesday, similar to how a blockbuster deal was struck two years ago with pass-rusher Joey Bosa as he arrived to camp just ahead of the report deadline.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the expectation from some around the league is that James will be the NFL's highest-paid safety soon enough.

James was limited throughout the offseason program after undergoing surgery on his left labrum in February, following a second Pro Bowl appearance. Coach Brandon Staley emphasized that James felt fine, but the decision to hold him out of some drills stemmed from an abundance of caution.

James said Friday that he is healthy.

"This is the best I've felt in the last four years, and I can't wait to go," James said.

In three seasons, James has intercepted five passes, has 19 pass deflections, three forced fumbles and 5.5 sacks.

James played only five games in 2019 because of a foot injury and he missed the entire 2020 season because of a knee injury.