Abram Elam didn’t let a dismissal from Notre Dame keep him from achieving his goals. The 6-foot safety not only made the NFL, but made more than enough money to feed his family.
Abram Elam played seven NFL seasons
Abram Elam had an opportunity to be Notre Dame‘s next great defensive back. A 2002 dismissal for an off-field incident, though, put Elam’s college career on hold.
Elam returned to Florida and attended a local community college. In his spare time, Elam worked as a dentist’s office to make ends meet.
He returned to the Division I level in 2004 when he played a season at Kent State. Elam parlayed a strong season there into a roster spot with the Miami Dolphins, although he didn’t make the team.
Beginning in 2006, Abram Elam was in the NFL for good. He spent a year with the Dallas Cowboys and, after that, played two seasons with the New York Jets.
Elam also played for the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. He also had a second stint with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011.
Elam had his best years with the Cleveland Browns
Abram Elam has an interesting place in both Jets and Browns history. The Jets included him in a 2009 draft-day trade to Cleveland that brought the No. 5 overall pick to New York.
Famously, the Jets used that pick on USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. “The Sanchize” led the Jets to two AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two years.
Abram Elam, meanwhile, took his talents to Cleveland. The change of scenery paid off and Elam played some of the best football in his life.
Elam had a career-high 91 tackles, broke up two passes, and forced a fumble in 2009.
A year later, Elam picked off two passes, broke up another 10 passes, and recovered two fumbles. Elam also scored his second career touchdown, an 18-yard scoop-and-score against the Jaguars.
Abram Elam’s son, Kaiir, is a rising star at Florida
Abram Elam earned over $7.8 million in his career, according to Spotrac. That is significant money for a player who went undrafted and whose football career nearly ended before it really began.
Elam is part of an extremely talented football family. His younger brother, Matt, was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.
Matt Elam played three seasons and helped the Ravens to a playoff berth in 2014.
Abram Elam’s son, Kaiir, is on pace to be the next Elam in the NFL. A 6-foot-2 defensive back at the University of Florida, Kaiir Elam thrived in his true freshman season last year.
Kaiir Elam intercepted two passes and recorded four pass breakups in 2019. He is expected to have a bigger role in the Gators’ secondary this season.
- All stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference