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Featured Player: Week 1

Our first ever Featured Player of the Week is the man who just got the bag, Jordan Mailata. The Left Tackle recently signed a 4-year contract extension worth up to $80-million which will keep Mailata with the Philadelphia Eagles through 2025.

The Austrialian native wasn’t always known for his football prowess. In fact, he had zero football experience prior to the Eagles drafting him 233rd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Prior to joining the Eagles, Mailata was a professional rugby player for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Towering at 6 foot 8 inches and weighing in at over 350 pounds, the 24 year old could quickly become a staple of this offensive line. Especially as we see the careers of veterans @jason.kelce and @lanejohnson65 wind down.

Mailata is the son of Samoan immigrants to Australia. Coming to the states to pursue professional football was not an easy task.

Mailata said that the biggest hurdle transitioning from rugby to the NFL was the extensive playbook. He battled additional adversity when he found himself on the injured reserve in both 2018 and 2019 with a back injury.

He finally made his NFL debut against division rival Washington Football Team on September 13, 2020. His first start would come Week 4 of that year against the San Francisco 49ers, when Jason Peters was ruled out of the game due to injury. From there, the rest is history.

Mailata would go on to finish as a top-15 offensive tackle in the NFL from Week 11 in 2020, per pro football focus.

Sure, I wanted to feature Mailata because of the recent news regarding his contract extension. But the real reason I wanted him to be the The Philly Nest’s first ever Featured Player of the Week is his story. Mailata is an example of hard work and perseverance. Moving across the globe to follow your dreams and battling injuries along the way is no easy task. He is a message to everyone to never give up and that it’s never too late to try something new. Whether that be football, art, music or…oh I don’t know…sport writing?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments! What Philadelphia Eagles player would you like to see featured this season?

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