If there was any doubt that Jordan Mailata is the left tackle of the Eagles’ future, that was eliminated on Saturday afternoon. Philadelphia gave the mammoth Australian a four-year contract that, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is worth up to $80M and includes $40.85M guaranteed.
Mailata, who is 6-foot-8, 380 pounds, won the battle to for the starting spot early in training camp over 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard. Mailata was a seventh-round pick in 2018 and was set to play out the final year of a deal that would have paid him a base salary of $850,000.
It looks like Dillard's days in Philadelphia are coming to a close.
For now, this is about Mailata.
It was a contract that came on the eve of the Eagles' season opener against the Falcons.
Center Jason Kelce said earlier this summer that the winner of the battle for the left tackle spot could possibly earn a potentially life-changing contract.
Mailata was asked in early August about Kelce’s remarks.
“I don’t think that far,” he said. “I always think about how sore my body is first thing I wake up, OK, I have to get to work, start recovering. I don’t really get too far with my thinking. Because knowing me from my rookie year, it’s always trying to get better every day.
“I always say hard work always takes care of itself. So, if it’s in the cards for me to achieve that kind of, whatever it is, it’ll happen, but I just focus on the next day and keep trying to get better.”
After being named the starter, Mailata spoke again and was asked if he had a chance to reflect on how far he has come since arriving from the rugby fields of Australia without ever having played a down of football.
“To be really honest, I haven’t really,” he said. “My focus right now is just on Week 1 and preparing myself for Week 1, so I really haven’t given time to sit down and reflect on the journey and how I got here.
“I just feel like, for me, and my mindset and my approach to being a professional and being a starter, it’s how can I get better tomorrow? What can I learn from yesterday? And how do I keep moving forward and progressing? So, I haven’t had too much time to reflect because I’ve just been focusing on Week 1.”
Week 1 is here, and Mailata can rest easy knowing his future in Philadelphia isn't in doubt.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.