Jordan Mailata with the richest contract ever earned by an Australian in the NFL
Samoan NFL player Jordan Mailata officially signed a massive four year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles as first reported by ESPN - the deal is worth US $64 million which could go up to US $80 million if he meets performance bonus clauses, with US $40.85 million guaranteed.
The deal also puts him near the top of the highest earning Australian athletes and News.com.au reported it as the richest contract ever earned by an Australian in the NFL.
In his first post game press conference this season he told reporters he felt extremely blessed to receive the contract extension "It gives me an opportunity to represent my family, my country and my people".
He also opened up on where some of his money would be going to "I’ve been wanting to buy my parents a house, I can finally do that”.
In the opening game of the regular season yeserday against the Atlanta Falcons, he proved his worth with a bone crunching tackle against his opposition clearing the path for wide receiver Jalen Reagor to score a touchdown. Jalen tweeted his appreciation after the game -
Born to Samoan parents in Bankstown, Sydney, and one of five siblings, Mailata told The Telegraph reporter Jake Goodwill that he comes from humble beginnings.
“My mum worked full-time, six days a week, 12 hours a day and my dad was a handy man who worked two jobs – the bloke could fix anything!” explains Mailata.
“We did not have much growing up. My sister, who is the oldest, practically raised us while our parents were working. The Polynesian environment we grew up in was built upon tough love.”
Just five years ago, he was playing U20s for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Holden Cup compettion but was told he wasn't fit enough to make the NRL. His agent then contacted NFL teams and in 2018 he was drafted by the Eagles in the 7th round of the NFL draft.
The pandemic has meant that Mailata’s family has not been able to travel to the US to watch him in action yet. But his family background and comfort with ‘tough love’ served him well as he underwent his apprenticeship, learning a new sport in a hugely competitive environment.
He had been in the final year of his initial US 2.5 million deal after debuting off the bench last season for the Eagles and his career took a huge step forward when the Eagles head coach revealed that Mailata would be the starting left tackle this season.
He spoke to One News Sports reporter Matt Manukia where he encouraged other Pasifika players to go for it if they found themselves in the same position he was in five years ago.
Did we mention the boy can saaaang? Check him out singing "Tennessee Whiskey" to his team mates at their training camp in the video below.
And in case you didn't realise, his 2020 highlights video above is to the soothing sound of Mailata singing and playing the guitar.
Watch Jordans journey to the NFL in the "Undiscovered" video below (click thru on the youtube link) where the 6-foot-8, 345-pound former rugby league player has left Australia to try and achieve the impossible – making an NFL roster, with no knowledge or previous experience of playing the game of American football.
With his contract extension secured and starting position confirmed - he's done just that ... achieved the 'impossible'
Watch the full 'Undiscovered' series here