Derwin James

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Gallup, Chargers

Rumored to be at an impasse with the Broncos regarding his contract, Courtland Sutton said recently he is not certain he will show for training camp. It should be considered more probable than not the seventh-year wide receiver reports due to the hefty fines (at least $50K per day) that would pile up if he skipped. One sign Sutton is a decent bet to resurface in Denver next week: he attended throwing sessions with Jarrett Stidham and Bo Nix recently. An SMU product who grew up near Houston, Sutton was among the pass catchers in attendance at the Stidham-organized workouts, 9News’ Mike Klis notes.

Sutton showing represents a good sign for Denver fans. Though, the 6-foot-4 target missed nearly the entire offseason program — and time to establish a rapport with the first-round QB — before making a minicamp cameo. Sutton, 28, has angled for a raise. He is tied to a four-year, $60MM deal that runs through 2025. Only $2MM of the former Pro Bowler’s $13MM 2024 base salary is guaranteed, though the rest of it will lock in just before Week 1.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

Chargers Open To Trading OLBs Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack

MARCH 10: Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated confirms the Chargers have had “exploratory trade talks” concerning not only Bosa and Mack, but also both members of the Allen-Williams receiver tandem. Of those, Breer unsurprisingly notes Allen is the likeliest to stay, something which matches the veteran’s comments on his future. Still, a cost-shedding move of some kind could be coming soon on Los Angeles’ part.

MARCH 9: According to, the Chargers have the second-least amount of cap space in the NFL with only the Dolphins exceeding the salary cap by more than Los Angeles. They’re currently $21.14MM over the salary cap and are set to eat $27.31MM of dead money in 2024, also second-most in the NFL.

As a result, it appears the Chargers are exploring options to clear some cap space while potentially bringing in a bit of draft capital, as well. Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports that the team is currently “open to trade offers for many veteran players including Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.”

Mack and Bosa currently make up the team’s largest two cap hits at $38.52MM and $36.61MM, respectively. Trading those two players alone, the team would be able to clear out $23.25MM (Mack) and $14.39MM (Bosa) of cap savings, though the team would be eating $15.27MM (Mack) and $22.22MM (Bosa) of dead money in the deals. The report from Russini also says “many veteran players,” though, and the next three biggest cap hits on the roster are veteran receivers Keenan Allen ($34.72MM) and Mike Williams ($32.46MM) and safety Derwin James ($19.86MM).

Would the Chargers really get rid of quarterback Justin Herbert‘s top two targets? Allen has been one of the league’s more consistent producers since 2017, as long as he stays on the field. Over that time, Allen has averaged around 75 yards per game and can usually deliver six to eight touchdowns. He’s missed 40 of a possible 179 career games, including 11 in the past two seasons, but despite four missed games in 2023, Allen averaged a career-high 95.6 yards per game and scored seven touchdowns at 31 years old.

Williams has also missed his fair share of games (27 of a possible 115), including 14 games missed with a torn ACL in 2023. When healthy, Williams has established himself as a strong WR2, twice surpassing 1,000 receiving yards and twice surpassing nine receiving touchdowns. Williams struggles to provide the same consistency as Allen but is still a strong contributor. If traded, Allen would provide $23.1MM of cap savings and result in $11.62MM of dead money, while a trade of Williams could provide $20MM of cap savings and result in $12.46MM of dead money.

James is yet another high-cost player who has struggled to stay on the field in his career. After appearing in every game as a rookie, James has missed 33 of a possible 83 games since. Despite leading the team in tackles this year, James had the worst NFL season of his career, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), grading out as the 71st best safety out of 95 graded players. Before this season, James hadn’t graded out worse than 12th. He showed decent pass rush and run defense in 2023, but graded out poorly in coverage. A James-trade would need to be a post-June 1 transaction. If traded pre-June 1, James would still cost the Chargers $1.46MM of cap space, while a post-June 1 designation would save the team $12.75MM of cap space.

Those players are all question marks, but Mack and Bosa have been blatantly named. Bosa started his career as one of the league’s most electric pass rushers with 23.0 sacks in his first two years, despite missing four games his rookie year. While he still threatens to put up double-digit sacks each year, he has to stay on the field in order to do so, and he has missed half the season three times in his career, including the most recent two seasons. If his physical shows the potential for a full return to form, he could fetch a high price in trade talks.

Los Angeles will try to sell high on Mack, who had a career year at 32 years old. Mack was a world-beater early in his career, racking up 40.5 sacks and a Defensive Player of the Year award with the Raiders. Though his production dipped a bit after getting traded to Chicago, Mack still made three straight Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams as a Bear. Mack was traded once again to the Chargers in 2022, and after a decent first season in LA, Mack delivered a career-high 17.0 sacks in 2023, his first time delivering double-digit sacks since his first year in Chicago in 2018.

It’s unclear just how much Los Angeles is willing to part with this spring. Clearly, “many veteran players” have been advertised as available, including Mack and Bosa, but it’s hard to say just how many of those high-cap players will be shipped out. There are other ways to try and lower the players’ cap impacts, like restructures to current deals, but the easiest way may be to clear them off your books (for the most part) and get something in return. It will be interesting to see how much the Chargers are willing to give up in order to rebuild around Herbert.

Chargers Plan To Activate Joey Bosa From IR

A Joey Bosa ramp-up period does not seem to be in the cards for the Chargers. Despite the perennial Pro Bowl pass rusher missing 12 games and only being designated for return Thursday, the Bolts are preparing to activate him from IR for Week 17.

Brandon Staley said the plan is for Bosa to play this week against the Rams, per’s Bridget Condon (on Twitter). Bosa has been out since Week 3 because of a groin injury that required surgery.

The seventh-year defender said this week he has dealt with this issue for a while and indicated upon his return to practice he felt better than he has in years. Bosa has dealt with a number of injuries since the Bolts drafted him third overall in 2016, but this year’s absence has been the longest. The Chargers have managed to recover from their injury-affected swoon, however, and are playoff-bound for the first time since 2018 — Bosa’s previous year with a major injury.

Bosa missed four games as a rookie in 2016 (hamstring), was shut down for nine during the 2018 season (foot) and missed four more contests in 2020 (two concussions). Despite being often sidetracked by injuries, the former Ohio State star has four double-digit sack seasons on his resume. His return to anchor Los Angeles’ pass rush will certainly enhance the Bolts’ chances of being a major factor in the playoffs.

The Chargers, who only had the chance to play Bosa and Khalil Mack together for two full games, have picked up the pace in quarterback pressure recently. They sacked Nick Foles seven times Monday night and recorded four in a last-second win over the Titans in Week 15. Mack has a team-high eight sacks, making the Pro Bowl for a seventh time, while both Morgan Fox and Drue Tranquill hit the five-sack mark in Indianapolis. The supporting-casters have 11.5 combined sacks this season, with Tranquill putting together an interesting stat line that includes five sacks and 129 tackles.

Much of the injury trouble the Chargers have encountered is in the rear-view mirror. Justin Herbert, who suffered a rib injury in Week 2, has played better over the past several weeks. Both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have returned from their earlier health issues as well. The Chargers have not opened Rashawn Slater‘s practice window yet, but their left tackle returning from an early-season biceps injury remains in play.

Derwin James had missed time but returned for the Chargers-Colts tilt. However, he was ejected for leading with his helmet on a first-half tackle. Both James and the player he tackled, Indianapolis wideout Ashton Dulin, sustained concussions on the play. Both are out for Week 17.

Chargers DE Joey Bosa Expected To Begin Practicing

The 6-6 Chargers, who are on the outside of the AFC playoff picture as of the time of this writing, may soon welcome back one of their best players. Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Bolts will evaluate defensive end Joey Bosa early this week with the expectation that he will begin practicing on Wednesday (video link).

Bosa, 27, exited Los Angeles’ Week 3 loss to the Jaguars early due to a groin injury that ultimately required surgery. The team hoped that offseason acquisition Khalil Mack and Bosa would combine to form one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass-rushing duos, and while Mack has mostly lived up to expectations — seven sacks and a 74.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus — Bosa’s absence has clearly hurt. The Chargers’ 22 sacks are the fifth-fewest in the league, and the team is near the bottom of the pack in total defense (though the Bolts were not much better in that regard in 2021 either).

Once Bosa begins practicing, the team will have three weeks from that date to activate him off of injured reserve. The most recent reporting on the matter suggested that Bosa’s injury would prevent him from returning to his typical level of performance this year, but a mostly-healthy Bosa should still benefit a struggling defense. As long as the Chargers remain in playoff contention, they will likely give the four-time Pro Bowler every chance to see game action.

Bosa has run into several maladies that have required absences over the course of his career. He missed four games as a rookie in 2016 (hamstring), was shut down for nine during the 2018 season (foot), and missed four more contests in 2020 (two concussions). His 2022 IR stint is part of a long list of health woes that have thus far undermined the fortunes of a club that entered the season with a reloaded defense and championship aspirations.

In what has become a frustrating refrain for Chargers fans, Los Angeles has once again lost key players on both sides of the ball for extended periods of time. Even as the team prepares to bring Bosa back into the fold, it will take on the Dolphins on Sunday without safety Derwin James, defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day, and cornerback Bryce Callahan, as Lindsey Thiry of reports. James, no stranger to lengthy IR stays himself, suffered a quadriceps injury in LA’s Week 12 victory over the Cardinals, and while he played through the injury in last week’s loss to the Raiders, he is not healthy enough to suit up for a pivotal bout with Miami.

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Bolts, Broncos

Given a deal that was $10MM north of the previous NFL AAV record two summers ago, Patrick Mahomes has seen his $45MM-per-year pact fall to fourth. This offseason saw Aaron Rodgers surpass $50MM per year and Deshaun Watson‘s fully guaranteed $46MM-per-year pact lead to Kyler Murray signing for $46.1MM on average. Mahomes received the $45MM salary because he agreed to a 10-year extension, and the superstar Chiefs quarterback has said he is unconcerned about where is contract currently stands among QBs. But a source informed Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed the Chiefs could adjust his deal “sooner than later.” Mahomes, 26, has never been expected to play out his through-2031 contract. It will be passed many times between now and its expiration date. Lamar Jackson is almost certainly gunning for a deal north of that $45MM figure. It does not look like the Chiefs will be addressing the contract this year, but in addition to Jackson, Russell Wilson should be expected to pass Mahomes’ pact by 2023. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert will also be extension-eligible in January.

A team agreeing to redo a player’s deal with so many years left on it stands to be an interesting contract chapter — one that may not be too far in the future — but Mahomes is rather important to this franchise’s prospects. Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • From one previous contractual record to a current position’s standard, the ChargersDerwin James re-up looks quite good for the player. James’ $19MM-per-year extension tops safeties in AAV; it also compares favorably to Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jamal Adams‘ deals in terms of its three-year payout ($58.5MM) and fully guaranteed money ($38.6MM), OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald tweets. Given James’ injury history, the Bolts’ $42MM in total guarantees matters as well. His 2023 base salary is fully guaranteed, and $3.4MM of his 2024 base becomes fully guaranteed in March 2023, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. Two 90-man roster bonuses worth $3MM are due in 2025 and ’26, respectively, though those base salaries are nonguaranteed. James will count less than $10MM against the Chargers’ cap in 2022 and 2023, but those numbers go way up by the mid-2020s: $19.9MM (2024), $23.9MM (2025), $24.6MM (2026).
  • Asante Samuel Jr.‘s path back to the Chargers’ starting lineup appears to be narrowing. While Samuel entered camp as the outside cornerback starter opposite J.C. Jackson, Michael Davis has taken over in recent days. Brandon Staley said the competition remains open, but The Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes Davis has played in front of Samuel for several days. A former UDFA the Bolts re-signed on a three-year deal worth $25.2MM in 2021, Davis appears to be distancing himself in this battle, per Popper (subscription required). Davis, 27, has been a Chargers starter for the past three years. Samuel also has slot experience, something that could come into play considering Bryce Callahan‘s injury past. The mid-offseason addition, however, has been manning the slot with the Bolts’ first unit.
  • The Broncos, who have lost starting wideout Tim Patrick for the season and likely linebacker starter Jonas Griffith for several weeks, are starting to see injuries pile up. Netane Muti, who has been battling Quinn Meinerz for the starting right guard gig, is out due to an arthroscopic knee surgery. Muti will miss between three and four weeks, per Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). This effectively walls off the third-year blocker’s path to a starting role, for the time being. The Broncos have Meinerz and Dalton Risner as their expected guard starters, though Graham Glasgow is still in the mix after returning from a season-ending 2021 setback.

Chargers, Derwin James Agree To Safety-Record Contract

After a lengthy hold-in effort, Derwin James is now the highest-paid safety in NFL history. The Chargers and James agreed on a four-year extension Wednesday morning, Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter).

James and the Bolts agreed to terms on a deal worth $19.1MM per year, per Rapoport. The $76.5MM pact comes with a safety-record $42MM guaranteed and $29MM in Year 1. James, who is now the only safety attached to more than $40MM guaranteed, is also now tied to a higher average salary than all but five cornerbacks.

This windfall follows the likes of D.K. Metcalf, Deebo Samuel and Diontae Johnson of staging hold-in measures and being rewarded. But the Bolts and their top safety have been negotiating for months. This also represents a considerable reward for a player who battled extensive injury troubles over the course of his rookie contract.

From 2019-20, James played in just five games. An August 2019 stress fracture in James’ right foot shelved him for much of that season, and a meniscus injury during training camp in 2020 ended up sidelining the former first-round pick for all of that season. During his two healthy years, however, the Florida State product has been one of the NFL’s best defensive backs. The Chargers rewarded him as such and will count on the 26-year-old talent for the next several seasons.

After sliding to No. 17 overall in the 2018 draft, James became the first pure safety to earn first-team All-Pro recognition as a rookie since the AFL-NFL merger. He delivered a versatile debut season for the Chargers, who waited patiently for his return. Last season, James finally re-emerged on the career path he began to traverse as a rookie. Pro Football Focus rated him as a top-10 safety in 2021. James made a career-high 118 tackles (seven for loss), forced three fumbles, collected two sacks and intercepted two passes last season.

The Chargers now have two DBs making high-end money, giving James a monster extension after signing J.C. Jackson to a top-10 cornerback contract. The two will be tasked with spearheading a defensive turnaround. Despite James’ contributions, Brandon Staley‘s first Chargers defense ranked 26th in defensive DVOA. This offseason, the Bolts reloaded and will surround James with more talent. Jackson, Khalil Mack, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Kyle Van Noy are now in the fold for what is expected to be an AFC contender.

Wednesday’s transaction illustrates a changing safety market as well. After Justin Simmons broke through the $14MM-per-year ceiling in 2021, when the Broncos rewarded their twice-franchise-tagged player, Jamal Adams came in with a market-resetting deal at $17.5MM per year. At the time of Adams’ agreement, the Seahawks had created a $2MM-plus AAV gap between Adams and the field. The Steelers, via their $18.2MM-AAV deal with Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Chargers have now topped that this summer. The league’s first $20MM-per-year safety accord may not be far off.

GM Tom Telesco has rewarded both his 2017 and ’18 first-round picks this offseason, with Mike Williamsthree-year, $60MM deal preceding James’ re-up. This comes after 2016 first-rounder Joey Bosa signed a long-term second contract. The Chargers, for this year at least, have the benefit of building around 2020 first-rounder Justin Herbert‘s rookie contract. The Chargers are acting accordingly. In Bosa, Mack, Jackson and James, the Bolts have four defenders making at least $15MM per year.

Latest On Extension Talks Between Chargers, Derwin James

AUGUST 14: There has been no change in the status of negotiations between James and the Chargers, per head coach Brandon Staley (Twitter link via Thiry).

JULY 27: As training camp begins, no James-Chargers agreement is imminent, Aaron Wilson of notes. Although mutual interest exists regarding a James extension — one that would likely make him a top-three highest-paid safety — the sides are not there yet. While James waits for a new contract, count him as a “hold in” performer. James is not practicing with the team presently, Adam Schefter of tweets.

JULY 24: James plans to report to Chargers training camp even if he does not yet have a new contract in hand, per Lindsey Thiry of Thiry does suggest that an extension could be in place by the report date (which is just two days away), so it sounds as if player and team continue to move closer to an accord.

With respect to the injury problems that have dogged him during the first few years of his pro career — including offseason labrum surgery that limited him during spring work — James said, “this is the best I’ve felt in the last four years, and I can’t wait to go.”

JULY 20: A Derwin James extension could be coming. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that the Chargers are optimistic that they’ll reach an agreement with their star safety.

The 2018 first-round pick earned his second career Pro Bowl nod this past season after finishing with 118 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Pro Football Focus was fond of his performance, ranking James ninth among 92 eligible safeties. The safety was limited to only five games in 2019 before sitting out the 2020 campaign, so it was a positive sign for both the player and organization that he could return to his Pro Bowl status.

His performance was also a positive development for the player’s earning potential. In fact, Fowler tweets that there’s “expectation from some” in the NFL that James will ultimately sign a contract that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid safety. Minkah Fitzpatrick paces the position with an $18.2MM average annual value, followed by Jamal Adams ($17.5MM AAV), Harrison Smith ($16MM AAV), Justin Simmons ($15.2MM AAV), and then four players making between $14MM and $15MM.

James will command at least $17MM per year, but if he intends to reset the market, he could sign a deal that exceeds $19MM per year. The safety franchise tag in 2022 was $12.9MM, and even assuming it goes up, there’s little chance that route would satisfy the impending free agent. Of course, it seems unlikely the Chargers would play hard ball with their homegrown player, anyway…especially after they ponied up to add defenders Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson this offseason.

We heard last month that the two sides had engaged in preliminary discussions regarding an extension, and it sounds like both sides were hopeful that it’d get done before the start of the regular season. While the Chargers appear to be willing to pay up for James, the player’s injury history slightly complicates negotiations. Besides his injury issues in 2019, James also had offseaosn shoulder surgery that forced him to miss minicamp, although it sounds like his absence was just precautionary.

Latest On Chargers S Derwin James

Chargers safety Derwin James had offseason shoulder surgery that has limited him during the early part of minicamp, reports USA Today’s Tyler Dragon (on Twitter). While James is limited, it’s a good sign that he’s already on the field, and Dragon notes that the defensive back is expected to be a full participant by the time training camp comes around.

[RELATED: Latest On Derwin James Extension Talks]

“Derwin didn’t participate in any of the seven-on-seven this spring because of him coming off the labrum surgery,” coach Brandon Staley told reporters (via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry). “We wanted to make sure he stayed out of the competitive seven-on-seven. He did all the individual work … he was in all our 11-on-11 team stuff.”

“It was more just precautionary in nature and if you know anything about Derwin, it killed him that he wasn’t out there, for sure.”

James missed a pair of contests in 2021 because of a hamstring injury, but he otherwise started 15 games. As Thiry observes, James did land on the injury report early in the season with a shoulder ailment, but it didn’t force him to miss any time. The former first-round pick earned his second Pro Bowl nod in 2021 after finishing with 118 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions. The safety was limited to only five games in 2019 before sitting out the 2020 campaign, so it was a positive sign for both the player and organization that he could return to his Pro Bowl status.

With James entering the final year of his rookie contract, Dragon tweets that the two sides have started “preliminary” discussions on a long-term deal. There have been recent reports that the organization and the safety were both optimistic that they’d agree on an extension before the start of next season. The two sides are expected to continue negotiating with the expectation that they’ll agree to a deal before the start of next season.

Latest On Derwin James Extension Talks

The Chargers have made multiple large additions to their defense this offseason, but there is still important business to be taken care of with one of the unit’s homegrown players. Safety Derwin James is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but there is reason to believe he will have a new deal by the start of next season. 

[RELATED: Mutual Interest For James Extension]

USA Today’s Tyler Dragon reports (on Twitter) that both James and the team are “cautiously optimistic” a new contract will be negotiated in the near future. It was reported last month that each party was looking to get a long-term deal done, so a lack of friction on the matter (at least for now) doesn’t come as a surprise.

James, 25, has demonstrated the potential he was touted with coming out of college in 2018. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in a highly productive rookie season. While he was limited to just five games the following year, he still graded out well in terms of PFF rating. He bounced back from missing the entire 2020 campaign, starting all 15 contests he played in last season.

While dollar figures on a new contract may be hard to speculate on, given the Florida State product’s varied usages and positional versatility, there is cause for optimism that James could join Mike Williams as a key piece to the roster being retained for the long-term future. If that happens, defensive additions such as Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson could help vault the Chargers into true AFC contention.

Mutual Interest For Derwin James Extension

Chargers’ safety Derwin James is currently set to head into the fifth year of his rookie contract, after the team exercised his fifth-year option in April of last year. According to Tyler Dragon of USA Today, there’s mutual interest in getting a long-term extension done, but negotiations will not start until the summer. 

James was a first-round draft pick for the Chargers in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Florida State prospect shot out of a cannon finishing second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting and being announced as a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in his rookie season. His sophomore season was cut short after having surgery due to a stress fracture in his right foot. His 2020 NFL season got cut short before it even started with James suffering a torn meniscus a week before the team’s season opener. James made his long-anticipated return to the gridiron this past season, returning to form while making his second Pro Bowl team and finishing third in Comeback Player of the Year voting.

James’ numbers won’t pop out at you. Even when only looking at his two full seasons of play, his totals of 5 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 5.5 sacks, and 11.0 tackles for loss over two years won’t rank anywhere near the top of any position groups. While the Chargers list him as a safety, his role is much closer to a glorified linebacker. When healthy, James will absolutely be one of the team’s top tacklers. He has a nose for the football and can find his way to the ball-carrier effectively. And, while not elite in any of the above statistical categories, his ability to cover, force turnovers, rush the passer, and make plays behind the line of scrimmage make him a valuable asset to the Los Angeles defense. It is truly his versatility they value.

It is this same versatility that makes a contract discussion for James a troubling concept. Do they pay James like a top-tier strong safety or shell out a little extra to pay him like a top tier linebacker?

The top safeties in the game, that don’t play exclusively in a free safety role, are players like Budda Baker ($14.75MM aav), John Johnson ($11.25MM aav), and Micah Hyde ($9.63MM aav). The top linebackers in the game, that aren’t pass-rushing specialists, are players like Darius Leonard ($19.7MM aav), Bobby Wagner ($18MM aav), and C.J. Mosley ($17MM aav). So, obviously, if you were going to pay him like you play him, James’ extension numbers should be closer to the $17-20MM per year range than the $9-15MM per year range.

Luckily, there is a very similar player in the NFL who has set a precedent for James and the Chargers to work off of: Seahawks’ safety Jamal Adams. Adams doesn’t play the field like a normal safety, either. He only has four career interceptions to his name. He does tend to make more plays on the ball when it’s in the air totaling 33 passes defended over five seasons. Adams also tends to get to the quarterback and make plays in the backfield more often than James. In 2019 & 2020 alone, Adams racked up 16.0 sacks and 21.0 tackles for loss, contributing to his career totals of 21.5 and 43.0 respectively.

As of right now, if the Chargers were to offer James an extension before he plays out his fifth-year option, I would expect the offer to look a bit like a watered-down-version of Adams’ deal. Upon finishing his first season in Seattle after being traded from the Jets to the Seahawks, Adams signed a four-year deal worth $70MM, averaging $17.5MM per year. Based off of Adams’ deal, I would expect Los Angeles to offer James a three- to four-year deal in the range of $12-15MM per year. James’ injury history will likely keep him from reaching the top-tier numbers of Adams.

That being said, with James lacking the statistical output in college, as well, the Chargers did draft him largely based off of his potential. With injuries keeping James from fully displaying his abilities over the past four years, maybe the Chargers will have much more faith in him than he’s been able to show thus far. They value him as a player and a leader, making him a team captain this past season. Perhaps they will offer him a long-term contract that reflects that.