Alabama Football: In 2021 NFL Draft cash keeps flowing to Saban players

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

There more benefits to being an Alabama Football player than NFL cash. Degrees, opened career doors, championships and friendship bonds accrue to players that may never play past college. And there are the memories that will last a lifetime.

For the players good enough to earn an NFL chance, the financial rewards can be significant. Before the Draft, Bama Hammer published a detailed review of the total cash earned-to-date, by Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide players, drafted by the NFL. The total did not include future earnings based on current NFL contracts. Even without the contract dollars guaranteed to current NFL players, the total was stunning – $1.284 billion dollars.

The total will increase significantly during the 2021 NFL season and will include at least eight more former Alabama Football players drafted the 2021 first, second and third rounds. For five of the new NFL guys, Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain II, DeVonta Smith, Mac Jones and Alex Leatherwood, their salaries are guaranteed, plus the amount of their signing bonus. They have what is defined as ‘fully guaranteed’ deals that come with being in the first 24 Draft selections. The difference for the other first-round selections, such as Najee Harris, is whether or not the fourth year salary is fully guaranteed. The amount of guaranteed money drops starting with the second round and is adjusted down to zero in terms of salary from the late-round picks. For those chosen in the late-rounds, there is a signing bonus, plus pre-season bonuses and the hope of earning a 2021 season salary by making the team.

The new contract dollars listed below represent future earnings, except for the signing bonuses that will be paid soon.

Alabama Football 2021 NFL Drafted Players – Rounds 1, 2 and 3

  • Jaylen Waddle – Pick No. 6 by the Miami Dolphins; Signing Bonus – $17.58 million; Total Contract – $27.086 million
  • Patrick Surtain II – Pick No. 9 by the Denver Broncos; Signing Bonus – $12.61 million; Total Contract – $20.962 million
  • DeVonta Smith – Pick No. 10 by the Philadelphia Eagles; Signing Bonus – $12 million; Total Contract – $20.14 million
  • Mac Jones – Pick No. 15 by the New England Patriots; Signing Bonus – $8.7 million; Total Contract – $15.59 million
  • Alex Leatherwood – Pick No. 17 by the Las Vegas Raiders; Signing Bonus – $7.83 million; Total Contract – $14.39 million
  • Najee Harris – Pick No. 24 by the Pittsburgh Steelers; Signing Bonus – $6.85 million; Total Contract – $13.05 million
  • Landon Dickerson – Pick No. 37 (second round) by the Philadelphia Eagles – Signing Bonus – $3.66 million; Total Contract – $8.66 million
  • Christian Barmore – Pick No. 38 (second round) by the New England Patriots – Signing Bonus – $3.56 million; Total Contract – $8.52 million

The estimated 2021 NFL contract dollars are provided by

Consider last year’s NFL Draft contract dollars for the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU. The Bengal Tigers pulled in the most cash of any team with 14 players drafted in 2020. The total for the Tigers was $124.06 million dollars. Nine Alabama Football players were drafted last year, for a total of $110.95 million. Through three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, with eight Crimson Tide players drafted, the total contract number is $128.4 million.

Next. Winners and Losers of Draft First Round. dark

Two more points present an interesting contrast. The only Georgia Bulldog player drafted in the first round was Eric Stokes at No. 29. The only Auburn Tiger player drafted in the first three rounds was Anthony Schwartz at No. 91.