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NFL Man of the Year Nominees 2022 | Chargers |


Los Angeles Chargers

Bolt the Dog visits on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa, CA.
Bolt the Dog visits on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa, CA.

Derwin James Jr.


Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Safety Florida State 5

Excellence on the Field:

Derwin James Jr. is one of the NFL's top safeties and the most versatile defensive chess piece in football. He has been named a two-time Pro Bowl starter at safety (2019, 2022) in each of his two full seasons (missed all but five games in 2019 and the entire 2020 season due to injury). An AP First Team All-Pro at safety and second-team AP All-Pro selection at defensive back his rookie year, he also earned Sporting News All Pro honors at safety last year. Derwin has started all 44 career games with the Chargers, including a pair of postseason contests. A team captain and the defensive play caller, this season James reached 300 career tackles faster than any defensive back in the last 30 years (41 games). Through six games this season, Derwin quarterbacks a defense that is one of just six units to record at least 15 sacks and six interceptions on the year. Additionally, with 55 tackles, three tackles for loss, a pair of sacks and three passes defensed in 2022, he is the only NFL defensive back to have at least 50 tackles and a sack on the season.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:

A stalwart in the community, Derwin is a steady presence at community events put on by the team and Chargers Impact Fund while also supporting his teammates' personal philanthropic efforts. In February, Derwin joined the Chargers and Chargers Impact Fund in opening a newly renovated field at South Park Recreation Center in South Los Angeles. Aimed at providing a safe, high-quality turf field for local youth football players, the field served as the perfect place for Derwin to help some high school football players refine their skills during the ribbon cutting event. His commitment to the community manifests itself when he is with young people, in particular youth football players. Derwin's passion for giving back to youth football players was exemplified in his surprise appearance at Jordan High School this offseason. He participated in the reopening of a newly renovated weight room for Jordan High School football players and presented the team with new helmets and Oakley sunglasses. Derwin has also been committed to helping children battling poor eyesight. In the past year, he has appeared at three OneSight events hosted by Oakley and the Chargers with the goal of encouraging kids to get the eyewear they critically need to do well in school and extracurricular activities. During Training Camp, he made sure to take time out of his busy schedule to greet members of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana who had received a free pair of glasses earlier in the day. Continuing a tradition of working with Boys & Girls club members, Derwin also hosted an annual event with youth from Orange County. Surprising over 10 kids for a shopping trip at Dicks Sporting Goods before the start of the school year. Purchasing shoes and other items that the kids picked out, Derwin made sure that the kids all felt special and confident going into the new school year. James is also a financial sponsor of the Chargers Impact Fund's Community Corner, donating money to host 300 kids from underserved communities at Chargers games throughout the 2022 season. While still early in the 2022 season, it is likely that he will continue to show up for the community. As dependable a player on the field as he is off, James is making a name for himself outside of his play thanks in part to his reliable presence and dedication to community service.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:

Derwin James Jr. has proven himself to be a man of character both on and off the field, having grown into a position of leadership within the team and in the community. There is no player who is more reliable and consistent when it comes to participating in Chargers community events – and that is in addition to his own personal philanthropic community appearances. Dating back to his very first days as a Charger, Derwin has been showing up for youth in Southern California. Mere days after being selected 17th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, he joined local youth football players at the site that would later become SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. From that day forward, Derwin's appearances in the community at team and player-led events have been as dependable as a 75 degrees and sunny LA weather report: James surprised a long-time fan at their house as part of an effort to recognize and thank Chargers fans. Derwin also traveled to SoFi Stadium and surprised a family who had lost their house in a fire and went on a shopping spree in the team store with them. He partnered with Snoop Dogg to hand out free Beyond Meat items in the LA community. Derwin also hosted a thanksgiving meal giveaway at the Santa Ana Boys and Girls Club. Derwin and Oakley teamed up with nonprofit OneSight to host a free vision clinic for kids and families in Inglewood's Edward Vincent Jr. Park. Derwin's affable nature and engaging personality impress all who meet him out of uniform. A fixture at the team's annual Halloween Trick or Treating event with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Derwin made time in 2021 to talk to every family present and spent the evening doing crafts with the kids. His love of the community has also extended into the team's work in animal welfare where he has volunteered to appear alongside shelter animals and be photographed with them to raise awareness and funds for the work of the Chargers Impact Fund.

Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:

Facing each day with unbound optimism and excellent character, Derwin James Jr. has established himself as a role model amongst his peers and proven his dedication to the team time and time again. Derwin's teammates hold him in such high esteem that they selected him as the Chargers' Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2021 for displaying "professionalism, great strength and dedication." Widely viewed as one of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon a player, this award shows how highly regarded Derwin is in the Chargers' locker room. Underscoring his importance to the team, he was also recognized as the Chargers' 2021 nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The honor acknowledges players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship and demonstrates the character and leader that he is. Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Keenan Allen says of Derwin, "His energy and the way he leads us [stands out]. Every day, he comes out with a passion. He just leads us in the right way." Even when rehabbing from a pair of different injuries suffered in 2019 and 2020, Derwin never gave up his positive mentality and dedication to his team and community. While sidelined due to injury during the 2020 season, he could still be found at Chargers' headquarters helping socialize the team's service dog in his training to become a service animal for a person with disabilities. Derwin has modeled a life of giving to those in need and is setting an example not only for his team but also his family. During the 2022 formula supply shortage, Derwin joined the Chargers Impact Fund to record a PSA with his young family to encourage fans to donate and give back what they could to the nonprofit Baby2Baby in support of their formula program. The Los Angeles Chargers are proud to select Derwin James Jr. as their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.