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Alabama in the Pros

Former Tide star Eddie Jackson becomes the NFL’s highest-paid safety

Mike Dinovo - USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban now has his greatest recruiting pitch, in terms of players that may sustain injuries before turning professional in football. 

Eddie Jackson was one of four players in 2016 that was named a permanent team captain for his leadership and performance. Despite suffering a season-ending leg injury versus Texas A&M and falling to the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, he never complained and his work has officially been rewarded. The Chicago Bears took a chance on Jackson at No. 112 overall and he’s become one of the most talented safeties in the National Football League. 

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Even though the Bears missed the playoffs at 8-8, Jackson totaled 60 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack, five pass breakups, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery through 16 regular season games.

According to Ian Rapoport, the NFL insider said Jackson and the Bears have agreed to a four-year extension worth $58.4 million. His deal is set for $22 million guaranteed and a $14.6 million yearly average – making him the highest-paid safety. 

In three seasons, Jackson has 184 total tackles, 10 interceptions, 26 pass breakups, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and five touchdowns. He was a College Football Playoff National Champion at Alabama in 2015 and would have helped the program earn another championship in 2016, if not for an injury. A native Floridian, Jackson recorded nine career interceptions for the Tide – including three returned for scores.

Regardless of him having one more season left on his rookie contract, Chicago decided to give him the big money now. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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