Former Tide Stars Among World’s Top Earning Athletes
While seeing former Alabama players at the top of lists ranking the value of NFL contracts is nothing new, it's rare that those players also find themselves among the highest paid athletes in the entire world.
Well, in the case of these two former Crimson Tide stars, they have done just that.
Cooper recently joined the Browns after spending the last four years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys. A first round draft pick by the Raiders in 2015, Cooper instantly splashed onto the scene with an impressive 1,000 yard rookie campaign and nod for the Pro Bowl.
Another 1,000 yard year in his second season placed Cooper among the league's top young wideouts, but a steep decline in year three would put a possible extension after his rookie deal in question.
The Raiders moved on from Cooper six games into his fourth season, shipping him to the Cowboys for a first round pick.
In Dallas, the former four-star out of Miami instantly made an impact, hauling in a team-high 735 receiving yards and six touchdowns in just nine games. The next season, Cooper continued to play lights out, finishing with almost 1,200 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
In 2020, Cooper signed a massive extension with the Cowboys worth $100 million over five years and had a solid season, again leading the team in nearly all receiving categories.
The next year; however, the Cowboys decided it was time to move on from the wideout and traded him to the Browns for pennies on the dollar. In return, Dallas received nothing more than a fifth round pick swap and an extra selection in the sixth round while they traded away a four-time pro bowler.
Now, with his new team, Cooper looks to regain his place as one of the NFL's top targets, and has a great opportunity to do so.
Allen was drafted a few seasons after Cooper, but has seen just as dominant of a career in a shorter time. Selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft to the now Washington Commanders, Allen was a wrecking ball from day one.
In his rookie season, Allen saw time in five games before suffering a Lisfranc injury that would sideline him the rest of the year.
Coming back for his second season, Allen was out for blood. The behemoth interior pass rusher, standing at 6-foot-3, 300 lbs., finished the year with 61 tackles, 11 TFL's and 8.0 sacks.
Allen continued to dominate the next few seasons, compiling a total of 264 tackles, 31 TFL's and 26.0 sacks by the conclusion of his rookie deal.
After the end of the 2021 season and Allen's rookie contract, Washington wisely inked the game wrecker to a massive extension worth $72 million over four years.
The next few seasons could see even more Alabama faces make their way onto the list as several former Tide stars will look to lock up long term deals very soon. Though they may be young, the current trend of paying wide receivers could spell big money for players like Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.