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Jordan Mailata couldn’t be happier to be locked on Eagles’ line long-term

PHILADELPHIA — Just when offensive tackle Jordan Mailata thought life couldn’t get any better, his honeymoon taking him to the culinary and artistic delights of Italy, he got a text message from his agent.

The Eagles wanted to make him one of the highest paid left tackles in football. Somewhere between the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Sistine Chapel, it hit him.

“Six years ago, I could barely afford a train ticket, and now I was in Italy in a nice hotel, in many nice hotels,” Mailata said. “That’s kind of when I was like, ‘Oh wow. You’ve come a long way and you’ve still got so far to go and so much more to prove.’ I’m excited about it.”

Mailata’s three-year, $55 million contract extension locks him up through 2028. It includes a $20 million signing bonus and $48 million in guarantees, although the Eagles typically put those in the form of signing and reporting bonuses.

When all is said and done, the only tackles currently earning more than 6-foot-8, 365-pound Mailata are Laremy Tunsil, Trent Williams and Andrew Thomas. And Mailata probably could have gotten more had he waited and stayed healthy, the latter a given for he rarely misses a snap, much less a game. His deal wasn’t set to expire until 2025.

“It definitely wasn’t something I was thinking about,” Mailata said. “More like we met in the middle and I just let my agent handle it so that’s pretty much it. I recognize the opportunity that I have every day when I step foot in this building. It’s an incredibly humbling one because I came from humble beginnings. When you recognize the opportunity you have, you want to take full advantage of it. But you’ve also got to remember where you come from.

“We want to build something special, and the people in this building that we go to work with every day and interact with are some of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met in my life. So, it’s easy to be comfortable, be you, and be the best person you can be.”

Such are the words of a man now secure in his place. Speaking of which, Mailata made flattering remarks about the Eagles’ chief of security, Dom DiSandro, among almost everybody else he played with or was coached by, including offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who discovered him during a scouting mission before the 2018 draft. The Eagles selected Mailata, a converted rugby player, in the seventh round. The Big Guy needed someone to show him how to put his helmet on.

“I’ve learned in this career that I’ve had that we’re so on the go most of the time,” Mailata said. “And I think this honeymoon was the first time that my wife and I took a step back and just reflected on the blessings that we’ve received. I think it was important to recognize how far that I’ve come into this career that I chose seven years ago.”

As much as Mailata felt loyalty toward the Eagles, there was also a comfortability factor. Landon Dickerson, probably his best friend on the team, also signed a massive contract extension. Both are under contract through the next five years.

“Means the world,” Mailata said. “He’s one of my best friends and I love playing with that guy. And he gives everything and he’s a smart player. People don’t give him credit for having the wits, but that dude knows football and we mesh so well together; our personalities off the field. I love that man. He’s one funny character. Watching his press conference after he got his contract was hilarious because I’m just like, ‘that’s him.’ That’s him off the field and on the field.”

With Jason Kelce heading for retirement, the Eagles need to know if Cam Jurgens is a better center or guard. Either way it’s likely they draft an offensive lineman high in the draft, probably a tackle versatile enough to play guard. Right tackle Lane Johnson turns 34 next month.

At the same time, in Mailata and Dickerson, the Eagles have two major anchors to last a couple of coaching eras.

Source: Berkshire mont

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