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Chicago Bears claim former Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood off waivers

Alex Leatherwood in his stance for Alabama versus Ohio State in CFP title game
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

A former Unanimous All-American in the Nick Saban era at Alabama has a new NFL home.

Alex Leatherwood got claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears.

RELATED: Former Alabama TE O.J. Howard visiting Cincinnati Bengals, expected to sign with them

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news Wednesday as the former first-round pick was released from the Las Vegas Raiders. Leatherwood was one of six Crimson Tide players taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bears will inherit Leatherwood’s contract, which has three years and $5.9 million guaranteed left. Chicago has the right to use the fifth-year option.

Leatherwood arrived at Alabama as a five-star in 2017 from Pensacola, Fla. He became impactful in the second half of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, replacing an injured Jonah Williams at left tackle. After helping the team to a championship, Leatherwood’s excellence in run blocking and pass protection would produce three Heisman finalists in 2020.

His protection of quarterback Mac Jones allowed DeVonta Smith to become the first wide receiver in Tide history to capture the Heisman Memorial Trophy. Leatherwood earned first-team All-SEC honors, Unanimous All-American honors, the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, and the Outland Trophy in 2020. He anchored a dominant offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award and paced Alabama to an undefeated CFP National Championship that year. Leatherwood now looks to have success with the Bears.

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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. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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