Landon Collins, Alabama
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Former Tide Stars Make Millions in NFL Free Agency, Squashing the 'Bama Bust' Myth

To the people who claim that many Alabama Crimson Tide players are a bust in the NFL, you must be kicking yourselves today because several former Tide players have made a killing in the NFL free agency market.

Safety Landon Collins, linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Kareem Jackson all signed multi-million contracts in the first few days of the 2019 NFL Free Agency period, and they're adding to a list of current Alabama football alumni dominating the top-tier of NFL talent.

Landon Collins, formerly of the New York Giants, signed a six-year, $84 million contract with the Giants NFC East rival, the Washington Redskins. Since entering the league in 2015, no safety in professional football has more total tackles (428) than Collins.

Mosley, a four-time Pro Bowl selection in five years with the Baltimore Ravens, signed a massive five-year, $85 million contract with the New York Jets, where he'll continue to blossom into a potential Hall of Fame player.

Finally, Jackson, formerly of the Houston Texans, signed a three-year deal with the Denver Broncos worth $33 million. Since being a first-round pick in 2010, Jackson's 124 starts and 88 passes defended both rank top 15 among all NFL players.

Not bad for players who were once called a bust by some NFL experts.

How did the "Bama Bust" myth get started? Well, it may have started with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who took a shot at the program a few years ago.

"When they leave, they don't have Nick coaching them," Carroll said. "I think he's that good. I think he's that special. They're an all-encompassing program. Their concern for their players is why they consistently perform at such a high level, and when they leave that, they don't have that same system supporting them."

Carroll didn't exactly call them bust, however, he hinted to why some players were considered busts by NFL coaches and scouts. Some of this has to do with the failures of players like running back Trent Richardson who was once considered a can't-miss prospect. He's now playing for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football.

Rolando McCain, who was considered one of the best defensive players coming out of college, is considered a bust because of his off-the-field issues.

But for every so-called bust, there are double the successes, just like wide receivers Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper and Julio Jones, all three of whom had major impacts for the teams they played for last season.

Jones more than likely will be a Hall of Famer some day, too.

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If that's not enough, what about Heisman Trophy running backs Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram? Ingram was a huge part of the New Orleans Saints offense over the past few years. After eight seasons and over 7,500 total yards of offense, Ingram signed a three-year, $15 million with the Baltimore Ravens.

Last season, the Tennessee Titans finally gave the starting job to Derrick Henry in his third season. Henry had one of the most incredible runs in NFL history this past year that pretty much shut up his critics who tried to claim he was a bust.

Along with the three defensive players mentioned who are about to make a combined $100 million, and the numerous others who won Super Bowls rings including Dont'a Hightower of the New England Patriots, to say that Alabama football players are bust in the NFL is just WAY too far from the truth. The product on the field speaks for itself.

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