The Los Angeles Chargers signed safety Derwin James to a four-year, $76.5 million extension with $42 million guaranteed. That means he’ll be earning around $19.1 million per year, making James the highest-paid safety in NFL history. He has now surpassed Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was recently given a $73 million extension. That’s quite the raise for James, who was making $12.38 million over four years, around $3,097 annually before. He was the 34th highest-paid safety and has now skyrocketed to number one.
Safeties aren’t typically the highest-paid players in the NFL, but the standard is going up every year.
Let’s take a look at the top ten highest-paid safeties in the NFL. 1. Derwin James, Chargers: $19.1 million ($76.5 million over 4 years) Full screen LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 06: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers interacts with fans after the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on February 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen AFP 2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers: $18.24 million ($72.98 million over 4 years) Full screen Minkah Fitzpatrick became the highest-paid safety in the NFL just recently, but has now been surpassed by Derwin James. Joe Sargent Getty Images 3. Jamal Adams, Seahawks: $17.5 million ($70 million over 4 years) Full screen Seattle Seahawks star safety Jamal Adams is scheduled to have surgery on his shoulder, meaning he will be sidelined for the rest of the season. 4. Harrison Smith, Vikings: $16 million ($64 million over 4 years) Full screen Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith is one of those good players that every team that has aspirations should have. In the game he had an interception and returned it for a TD. Brace Hemmelgarn USA Today Sports 5. Justin Simmons, Broncos: $15.2 million ($61 million over 4 years) Full screen Five interceptions and 96 tackles by the safety whom some consider the best in the league.
Getty Images 6. Budda Baker, Cardinals: $14.75 million (59 million over 4 years) Full screen Budda Baker celebrates the Arizona Cardinals' win over the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. Katelyn Mulcahy AFP 7. Eddie Jackson, Bears: $14.6 million ($58.4 million over 4 years) Full screen Getty Images 8. Kevin Byard, Titans: $14.1 million ($70.5 million over 5 years) Full screen Aug 14, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard (31) runs through drills during a training camp practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park. George Walker IV USA TODAY Sports 9. Marcus Williams, Ravens: $14 million ($70 million over 5 years) Full screen Getty Images 10. Quandre Diggs, Seahawks: $13 million ($39 million over 3 years)