By Justin Adkins:
As expected, the Eagles have officially placed the franchise tag on quarterback Michael Vick. They also placed the transition tag on kicker David Akers.
“Michael Vick and David Akers were two of our most valuable players last year,” said head coach Andy Reid. “They were well deserving of their Pro Bowl berths and we’re happy to take this step to ensure that they’ll be back in Philadelphia next season.”
With the franchise tag, the Eagles will retain Vick’s rights for the coming season (if it actually comes, and if the franchise tag still exists when it does), with Vick being given a one-year contract offer for the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league during the previous season — that number is expected to be around $16 million. They will also be able to continue to negotiate on a long term deal.
The Eagles could also decide to trade his rights, which we made the case for them doing last week.
It’s important to remember that franchise tagged players are technically free agents. There are normally two versions of the tag, and what was used on Vick is the “exclusive” one, meaning he would be unable to negotiate a contract with other teams. If the Eagles had used the the regular version withVick free to discuss a deal with other teams like any other free agent. With the latter, if Vick were to sign a deal with another team the Eagles would retain the right the match the contract offered. If the Eagles decline, they would receive two first-round draft picks from the team who signs Vick. Considering Vick’s age, injury risk, and troubling history it’s very unlikely a team would be willing to sacrifice that much to sign him.
For Akers, the transition tag brings a one-year contract offer for the average of the ten highest-paid kickers and punters in the league, expected to be around $3 million. Like the franchise tag, the transition tag will allow the Eagles to match any contract offer that Akers receives; however, if they decline there is no compensation.
UPDATE: Eagles beat writer Jonathan Tamari reports that Vick has been given the “exclusive” franchise tag, meaning Vick will not be able to negotiate with other teams. Also, the compensation jumps to the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league for the current season — should be around $20 million — meaning Vick’s bankruptcy trustee is licking his lips right about now.
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