New wrinkle in NFL's international expansion plan might intrigue two Eagles

Two Eagles might be interested in the NFL's latest idea for continued global expansion.
Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

It certainly isn't our grandmother or grandfather's NFL anymore. Playbooks look like calculus equations. Guys are making in a season what former stars used to make during their careers. NCAA legends, thanks to NIL deals, are entering the league with assets and healthy savings accounts, and this season, our Philadelphia Eagles will play the first pro football game in Brazil.

Five games will be played overseas during the coming regular season: one in Brazil, three in London, one in Germany. Those games are part of pro football's continuing plan to expand its international presence. That plan may have a new wrinkle soon.

Peter O'Reilly is the NFL's head of international affairs. He mentioned during the Spring League Meeting on Tuesday that Australia is being considered as a potential site for a future game to be played. While the Birds haven't been named as one of the participants, one of Philly's stars (and a recently signed prospect) might eventually be of the opinion that they hope they might be.

How cool would it be for Jordan Mailata and newly-signed Laekin Vakalahi to play a game in their home country of Australia?

Jordan Mailata has come a long way. He's one of the beneficiaries of the NFL's International Pathways Program, one designed to increase global reach and grow the number of players from outside the United States or Canada. He has also gone from being a prospect who didn't know how to put his helmet on upon arrival to become one of the game's best young left tackles.

He and the newly acquired Laekin Vakalahi are both Aussies. How cool would it be for them to eventually make history and play in the first-ever NFL game played in their home country? Something tells us they must have thought about it when they heard the news.

It's worth mentioning that Philly hasn't been named as one of the possible participants. AFL 9News in Melbourne, Australia reports the L.A. Rams are expected to serve as the 'home team', but that doesn't close the door on Philly possibly participating either.

Nothing is a sure thing for Vakalahi. He'll be allowed time to develop as his career will most likely begin with him being a practice squad member. Unlike Mailata, he wasn't drafted, but he and Jordan are alike in that both joined the Eagles through Pathways. The new guy has two things working in his favor.

First, thanks to IPP guidelines, he won't count against Philly's allotted total of 16 practice squad members as he is given a special roster exemption. Second, also like Jordan, he'll be tutored by the best offensive line coach walking the planet, Philly's Jeff Stoutland.

Stout did wonders with Jordan. We're certain he'll do the same with Laekin.

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