Ex-Rabbitohs beast’s massive NFL promotion puts him on track for $70m+ payday

The NFL career of Australian former rugby league player Jordan Mailata has taken a huge step forward after he was declared the number one protector for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni revealed Mailata, 24, would be the starting left tackle for the Eagles when the NFL season gets under way after beating out former first-round pick Andrew Dillard for the role.

“Jordan will be our starter,” Sirianni said on Tuesday.

“Jordan had a great camp, Andre had a great camp. Andre missed some time and during that time, the chemistry with the offensive line was able to build.

”It’s a good problem for us to have. We have two left tackles that can really play and can start.

“Jordan did a good job winning that position, but I don’t want to short Andre at all. When he was in, he played really well. He played a phenomenal last pre-season game. I thought that was also the case in the Jets practices as well.

“You don’t just say, ‘Hey, here’s one game and here’s a splash game’ and we’re just doing everything based off of that. The whole body of work’s in play. I’m sure glad we have both those guys on this roster.”

The elevation to the starting line-up also puts Mailata on track for a massive contract increase, and he could earn upwards of $20 million a season.

The fifth richest contract in the NFL at his position is worth $70 million across three years; if Mailata plays the whole year as a starter he’ll certainly be looking at that if not more in his next deal.

He is currently earning around $1.2m.

Mailata will be given the job of protecting Hurts’ blind side, one of the key roles in the offensive line, having risen from relative obscurity after being a “longshot” selection by the Eagles in the 2018 draft.

A former rugby league player who played under 20s with South Sydney, Mailata has spent four years with the Eagles honing his craft and made his NFL debut off the bench last season.

Mailata is one of seven Australians in the NFL this season, including former AFL player Arryn Siposs, who is the punter at the Eagles.