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Spadaro: Jordan Mailata's contract extension is a big deal, but it's not the reason you think it is

Jordan Mailata
Jordan Mailata

This is the message from the Philadelphia Eagles once again, loud and clear: We are keeping our key pieces in place, building roster continuity, and, at the same time, aggressively addressing positional needs for the immediate future.

It is a delicate balance, a bit of a high-wire act the Eagles have walked successfully for many years. They have a deep and talented roster and they've been able to identify young players who they want to keep, well, forever. And so, they go out and make it happen.

Left guard Landon Dickerson, a two-time Pro Bowl player in his first three seasons, last month signed a contract extension through the 2028 season. Placekicker Jake Elliott then inked a new deal, four years in all, through the 2028 campaign.

On Friday, it was left tackle Jordan Mailata's turn. His contract extension also keeps him an Eagle through 2028 as the Eagles continue to address the offensive line, ensuring continuity even with center Jason Kelce's retirement, and making sure that the team is, pun intended, stout in the trenches. Even dominant. That's where games are won and lost.

Mailata’s story is an inspiring one, and he is, without question, in the prime of a Pro Bowl-caliber career at a coveted position. Great left tackles are something the Eagles have been churning out since the days of Tra Thomas starting in the 1990s, so having Mailata protecting quarterback Jalen Hurts' blind side is comforting, indeed.

The Eagles and left tackle Jordan Mailata agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension through the 2028 season on April 4, 2024. Here is the best of Jordan!

But the overarching message here is more than Mailata, more than the singular move. It is about the philosophy the Philadelphia Eagles employ as they continue to build a roster that offers sustainability. It is never a one-year focus for the Eagles, for Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, for Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman, for the men and women in the Eagles' Football Operations Department who want to contend every single season.

Being a Philadelphia Eagle means you're going to have a fair chance to compete for playing time, you're going to get top-shelf treatment and coaching in every way, and if you get out what you put in and play at a high level, you're going to be rewarded. Like Dickerson. Like Elliott. Like Mailata. Like many others before them.

Like others to follow.

"First and foremost, to even be able to play at one club, I've always wanted to be a player that's played for one team and one team only for their career, and there are so few who get to do that," Mailata said. "To be a part of history and to be a part of the club and the culture that we're trying to continue to build is an honor."

The Eagles' work is not finished here. They surely have other players they'd like to lock up for many years to come and that is part of an ongoing and certainly very important process. The team's ability to keep roster stability, retain its very best players, and at the same time attack free agency with so much aggressiveness speaks to a great game plan, it speaks to Lurie's willingness to give the go-ahead with confidence on how to play things at this time of the year, and it says a lot about players wanting to remain in Philadelphia.

They love being Eagles. They love the football culture in the city and around the world, where Eagles fans pour their heart and soul into the team.

It all makes for a great long-range picture for the Eagles.

Once upon a time, it was very difficult for players to play their entire career with one team, but that isn't the case at all right now. Former tight end Brent Celek ended his career as an Eagle following the Super Bowl LVII win in 2018. This year it's been Kelce and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Defensive end Brandon Graham is lacing up his cleats for a 15th Eagles season. Right tackle Lane Johnson has said repeatedly that he wants to end his career here. Dickerson and Mailata are fixtures.

You get the point. The Eagles are building something special once again, and Mailata's contract – for all the positives it brings – speaks to that big-picture message.

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