Surprise trade that left Aussie NFL star ‘gutted’

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Aussie NFL player Jordan Mailata says he was devastated after the Philadelphia Eagles traded away teammate Zach Ertz. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Aussie NFL player Jordan Mailata says he was devastated after the Philadelphia Eagles traded away teammate Zach Ertz. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Australian offensive lineman Jordan Mailata has revealed he was left heartbroken to find out his Philadelphia Eagles teammate Zach Ertz had been traded to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Eagles traded the veteran tight end to the Cardinals late last week, in exchange for rookie cornerback Tay Gowan and Arizona's fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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Mailata said news of the trade hit him hard, having spent his first four seasons in the NFL as Ertz’s teammate.

“I was gutted, but this is the nature of the business,” Mailata explained.

“You kind of get used to it, but you don’t get used to it. I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go, and it breaks my heart every time somebody leaves.

“With Zach, it broke my heart. I got to see him right before he spoke to the media and I was kinda glad I saw him on Friday right before he headed out.”

Ertz, who was drafted by the Eagles in 2013, leaves Philadelphia having tallied the second-most receptions in Eagles history and ranked fifth in receiving yards. The 30-year-old was a key member of the Eagles team that defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 to win Super Bowl LII, scoring the go-ahead touchdown in that game.

While Mailata was bitterly disappointed to see Ertz depart, his friendship with a fellow Australian on the Eagles roster - punter Arryn Siposs - is flourishing.

Siposs is in his first season with the Eagles after spending much of last year on the Detroit Lions’ practice roster. Mailata said he’s relishing the opportunity to have another Aussie to share some ‘banter’ with.

“We’re always pulling each other’s legs,” Mailata said.

“I’ll say to him ‘if you don’t kick this ball right now, you might as well pack your bags and leave, bro’ and he starts cracking up. That’s just the banter that we have.

“Every time he does something well I’ll just go up to him and tell him ‘you’re a damn good player, bro - keep it up’, just trying to keep that positive talk up.

“And every time he’s doing a bit too good, I’ll just bring him back down to earth.”

The pair have been two of the Eagles more reliable players during their 2-4 start to the season. Siposs has averaged 45.9 yards per punt, with seven punts downed inside the 20-yard line, while Mailata has been an immovable wall on the Eagles’ offensive line, despite having missed two games with a knee injury.

Mailata, who has spent time at both left and right tackle so far this season, says he is close to reaching full fitness.

“It’s about 95 per cent,” Mailata said.

“I still have a little bit of tenderness and little tweaks here and there, but with the (knee) brace it feels 100 per cent.”

The Eagles face the the 4-2 Las Vegas Raider at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday (Monday morning AEDT).

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