Home » From a $5000 offer at Souths to becoming the NFL’s $100 million man

From a $5000 offer at Souths to becoming the NFL’s $100 million man

Simmons is Australia’s highest paid basketballer, taking home a $57.5 million salary for the 2023-24 NBA season playing for the Brooklyn Nets.

Basketballers Josh Green ($20 million) and Joe Ingles ($17.3 million) are the other big Australian earners in the NBA, while Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo is reportedly on a salary of more than $10 million.

Mailata, who was born in Bankstown and is 203 centimetres tall, switched to American football six years ago after playing lower grade rugby league for Souths.

In 2017, Souths offered Mailata a $5000 deal to play for their feeder team, North Sydney.

With no American football experience, Mailata was selected by the Eagles as a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft.


Just two years later, Mailata made his NFL debut in a 27-17 loss to Washington. He featured in last year’s Super Bowl, with his Eagles suffering a 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Dave Spadaro, a reporter for the Eagles website, said Mailata’s rapid rise was eye-catching.

“Considering where he came from – Australia chasing a dream in the United States as a starting point – and then playing exactly zero games and taking zero snaps in his first two seasons with the Eagles as he acclimated his body to the rigours of the NFL … he has come miles since the day in 2018 when the Eagles traded up in the seventh round to select [him] with the 233rd overall pick in the NFL Draft,” Spadaro wrote in an article on the team’s website.

“The feeling is that he has even more room to improve. His remarkable story gets better and better, on the same trajectory as his game.”

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