The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with starting left tackle Jordan Mailata on a four-year, $64 million contract extension through 2025, according to a report from Adam Caplan. The deal is said to be worth up to $80 million and contains $40.85 million guaranteed.
It was only until recently that Nick Sirianni officially named Mailata as a starter. But anyone with eyes could see that Mailata was outplaying 2019 first-round Andre Dillard in training camp. And not only because Dillard really struggled in practices but because Mailata himself had a very good summer.
Mailata has certainly come a long way from when the Eagles originally used a seventh-round pick (No. 233 overal) on him in the 2018 NFL Draft. At the time, the rugby league player had never played a single snap of American football. The Eagles took a shot on him merely because of his unique blend of size (6’8”, 365 pounds) and athleticism.
Clearly, the low-risk, high-reward gamble paid off. Mailata deserves credit for working very hard to develop into not only a starting caliber player but a good one. Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland also deserves a lot of credit for molding the Australian native into what he is today.
For those curious about the financials, Mailata’s $16 million annual value puts him tied (with Taylor Lewan) for being the seventh-highest left tackle in the league. The Eagles are banking on the progress they’ve seen from him as opposed to waiting out the 2021 season and paying him after seeing what he looks like as a full season starter. There’s always risk in paying players early but there’s also reward in terms of not having to pay more money down the road with the market only going up.
Mailata’s extension isn’t a good development for the aforementioned Dillard’s chances of sticking around in Philly. Dillard might be kept around as a backup (left tackle only) for now but he’s an obvious candidate to be traded at some point. It’s pretty disappointing how he’s under-performed but the Mailata pick has mitigated the Eagles’ mistake.
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