The Philadelphia Eagles started the 2021 season with a bang on Saturday, signing Jordan Mailata to a new deal worth $64M. Naturally, there are a few ripple effects of such a huge move. Here are the three players most heavily impacted by the news.
There’s no doubting that this cements Jordan Mailata as the bonafide franchise Left Tackle. It’s not like Wide Receiver. The Eagles live and die by their trench play and always ensure their guys up front are secured on a long-term basis, providing a foundation to build on. This means that, at best, Andre Dillard is going to become a backup.
The problem is that the team also crave versatility and the Washington State product lacks it. He’s still pretty early in his development and had an extra year (+ an option year) on his rookie deal over Mailata prior to this extension. The question now becomes one of faith. Does Howie Roseman still believe in Andre Dillard and does Andre Dillard still believe in Andre Dillard, having lost the reins to a role that he had every single opportunity to win over a former seventh-round pick.
The writing is on the wall for Dillard. If he wants a starting role, he won’t find it in Philadelphia. It’s likely that the team will look to trade him between now and the end of next offseason, looking to develop Jack Driscoll as a backup, as opposed to clinging onto a failed first-round selection.
The tight end situation in Philadelphia is a little messy again. That reported deal for Dallas Goedert? Never heard of it. The failed deal for Zach Ertz? Well, that’s apparently back on the cards. It’s not hard to imagine that this monster deal for Mailata had something to do with it.
The Eagles had to make a decision. Do they jump the gun on Goedert, who hasn’t really shown consistency or durability just yet, or do so on a player who has shown every chance of rapidly growing into an all-pro? They probably won’t let Goedert walk for nothing, looking to trade him before the deadline, but it makes much more sense to pay Mailata and retain Ertz in the short-term, seeing what they have in Tyree Jackson, as opposed to going all-in on a tight end and potentially losing one of the most incredible draft gems in recent memory.
Jalen Hurts is probably the man who will be most impacted by this move. He now has a sense of serenity that 6’8 behemoth, Jordan Mailata, will be protecting his blindside for his entire rookie contract. With Lane Johnson on the other side, Brandon Brooks returning, and of course the immortal Jason Kelce, the Eagles have a very strong OL group to protect their young quarterback and give him the best opportunity possible to succeed.
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