Sometimes, it’s easy to venture into areas where one can be unforgiving. Philadelphia Eagles fans might be on the verge of turning the corner and turning over new leaves… maybe.
It wasn’t that long ago that logging into one’s social media account meant one of the first things you’d see would be some pretty nasty rhetoric directed at the vice president/general manager Howie Roseman. Hashtags that carried some familiar albeit overused verbiage like ‘Fire Howie’ were all too common, but following a brilliant offseason, one in which he’s bolstered a roster that made the postseason a year ago with less talent, it appears that Birds fans aren’t as angry as they were a few months ago.
Dare we say that Howie’s earned a reprieve? Well, we won’t get ahead of ourselves, but we will say this. The groundwork for this Eagles facelift began before we were buzzing over the acquisitions of Haason Reddick or James Bradberry.
The signs of this ‘newer version of Howie Roseman’ began when, rather than extending potential first-round bust Andre Dillard, he elected to give a long-term deal to a seventh-round draft choice Philly added one year earlier.
The Eagles are still earning rave reviews for an early extension given to Jordan Mailata.
None of us had a ton of information on Jordan Mailata when the Eagles made him the 233rd-overall selection of the 2018 NFL Draft. We knew about the International Player Pathway Program. We knew he was apparently good at rugby and someone Philly saw as a project they’d like to work with. That was about it.
We know how things turned out. Jeff Stoutland, the best offensive line coach in the business waved his magic wand, and the results have been amazing.
Fast forward to the present, and Mailata is one of the best young stars at his position, inking a four-year, $64 million contract extension, one that included $40.85 million guaranteed on September 11th of 2021.
It seemed like a wise move at the time, and as Jordan has continued to come into his own as one of the Eagles’ best players, the move looks even more shrewd now.
Recently, Pro Football Focus ranked the NFL’s best deals in terms of value. Mailata’s tops the list. Here’s some of what Brad Spielberger, the writer of this one, had to say on the subject:
"Given the small sample size of actual gameplay, his $16 million per year extension raised some eyebrows, and understandably so.One year later, the deal is a bargain of the highest order. Mailata earned an 87.4 overall grade with an 83.3 pass-blocking grade and 87.8 run-blocking grade, a true dancing bear with tremendous footwork for his size and lack of experience. Mailata already generated the second-most Wins Above Replacement among all tackles in 2021, behind only San Francisco 49ers tackle Trent Williams, and there’s still more room for him to grow."
Howie’s decision to extend Number 68 sooner rather than later kept Philadelphia from having to pay more money had they waited. Sure, there’s more to his job than simply making draft picks, signing free agents, and managing the salary cap, but that’s how we all tend to grade his performance and how he’s viewed when stacked against the NFL’s other general managers. Roseman, despite failing miserably at all three jobs from time to time, worked wonders this offseason and, by the looks of things, the 2021 offseason as well.
He’s given many the confidence that Jeffrey Lurie’s decision to give him a three-year extension that keeps him in Philadelphia through 2025 was the right call. Sometimes, it’s good to be wrong, and even though the jury is still out on whether or not we are, it’s good to see Howie and Jordan Mailata having success. Here’s to what we hope will be a less stressful season during the 2022-2023 NFL campaign.