At the 1999 NFL Combine, he weighed 205 pounds and performed a 4.53 second 40-yard dash, a 4.08 second 20-yard shuttle, a 6.90 3-cone drill, and a vertical leap of 38 inches. Chris McAlister jumps to intercept a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2006. He finished his career with 174 interceptions, which is currently third all-time.
McAlister was listed as being 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and 193 pounds in college. His time in the 40-yard dash was faster than most linebackers run (4.53 seconds). He also had one of the best 3-cone drills among all cornerbacks (6.90).
In his rookie season, McAlister started 13 games for the Minnesota Vikings and recorded 113 tackles, five passes defensed, and two interceptions. He was voted Second-Team All-Pro by the Pro Football Writers Association.
In 2005, McAlister started 14 games for the Chicago Bears and recorded 92 tackles, three interceptions, and seven passes defensed. He was ranked 70th on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Players of the National Football League.
After leaving the NFL, McAlister became an assistant coach for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
Chris McAlister was taken tenth overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. McAlister had a strong first season, recording 47 tackles (45 solo), 5 interceptions, and 16 pass deflections. He became only the second rookie in history to return an interception 100 yards for a touchdown when he did so against the New York Jets in December 2000. The other one is Eric Allen who did it for the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.
After his first season, McAlister was expected to be a star but an injury-riddled career had him playing only eight games over the next three seasons. He finished with 122 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 34 pass deflections during that time. In 2003, McAlister returned to form and led the Ravens with nine interceptions while also returning kicks off 50 yards or more five times. He also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery attempt.
In February 2007, McAlister signed a six-year contract extension worth up to $50 million with $16 million guaranteed. He was named the team's defensive coordinator after Brian Billick was fired as head coach. McAlister resigned from this position after one season to focus on playing again. He announced his retirement on March 30, 2009.
McAlister came back into the league at the age of 27 in order to continue playing football.
McAlister was an outstanding tackler. He was one of the NFL's most physically imposing defensive backs. His 6'1", 210-pound powerful body and quickness made him difficult to get open against. There are several cornerbacks that can't tackle at all. But few can avoid being touched by McAlister.
He is best known for his eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, where he played in 163 games and intercepted 26 passes. He also won a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 2014.
During his career, McAlister was selected to four consecutive All-Pro teams. He was also named to the Pro Bowl after each of his first five seasons. In addition, he has been selected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
After his playing days were over, McAlister returned to South Carolina where he worked as a color analyst for Gamecocks football broadcasts. He died on January 24, 2016 due to heart failure, at the age of 44.
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Christopher James McAlister (born June 14, 1977) is a retired American collegiate and professional football player who spent eleven seasons as a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He was an All-American while playing collegiate football for the University of Arizona. After going unselected in the 1998 NFL Draft, McAlister signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent. There he won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Jaguars' 2002 championship team.
He played college football for the Arizona Wildcats, where he was an All-American. The University of Arizona named its football stadium after him: Chris McAlister Stadium. He finished his career with 234 tackles, 17 interceptions, and two touchdowns.
After ending his NFL career, McAlister started a sports agency called Total Access Sports Agency. He has represented many athletes during their careers including Clinton Portis, Donald Strickland, and Donnie Avery.
McAlister was born in Phoenix, Arizona to parents James and Linda McAlister. He has one brother, Jason, and three sisters, Ashley, Alexis, and Ariana.
He attended Deer Valley High School in Peoria, Arizona. Here he played high school football for the Deer Valley Eagles. He went on to attend the University of Arizona, where he played college football for the Arizona Wildcats.