With an NFL Lockout only a few weeks away if an agreement isn’t made by March 4th between the league and the players’ union, the Eagles decided to make a few moves on Tuesday.
The team announced that they have placed the franchise tag on quarterback Michael Vick, as expected. They also made a surprising move by placing the transition tag on kicker David Akers. Head coach Andy Reid is glad to have two of his leaders back in midnight green.
“Michael Vick and David Akers were two of our most valuable players last year,” said Reid in a statement. “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 move, Vick is expected to make roughly $20 million next season and was placed with the “exclusive” tag, meaning no other team can sign him. In his first season as a starter for the Eagles, he had a career year. He racked up over 3600 yards of offense and 30 scores with a QB rating of 100.2. With his magnificent performances all season long, he was voted as the starter for the NFC in the Pro Bowl and rewarded by the AP with Comeback Player of the Year Award.
As for the the all time leader in games played in an Eagles uniform, Akers will make about two to three million dollars. He just completed his 12th season as an Eagle and it was a decent one. He converted on about 85% of his kicks and set a career high in kickoff touchbacks as he was also voted into the Pro Bowl. But down the stretch he struggled and will be remembered for missing two field goals in the 21-16 Wild card loss to the Green Bay Packers. It was latered discovered he was dealing with some personal family issues regarding his daughter’s health.
But the move has people thinking and wondering at age 36 how much he has left physically and mentally to perform at a high level and be relied on when the team needs him most. Akers and agent are happy to be back but are a little frustrated with the move.
“Our hope all along has been to come to a fair, long-term agreement for David to finish his career as a Philadelphia Eagle,” Akers’ agent Jerrold Colton told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “While the transition tag shows the team wants him back it’s not exactly the level of salary that we were looking to have.”
Akers can be offered a multi-year contract by another team which then would give the Eagles first refusal. If that would happen, the Eagles would receive two first round picks from whichever team claims Akers. But at Akers age and productivity, it is safe to say that Akers will be back with the Eagles next season.
Both players had career years and isn’t surprising to see both back with the Eagles next season and hope this is a few of many moves to come for this team to be able to contend next year and make a deep run at a championship.
Cole goes under the knife
The Eagles announced on Tuesday that DE Trent Cole underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to his right elbow.
The two time Pro Bowler is the first Eagle in the Andy Reid era to have back to back double digit sack seasons. He is expected to be ready in time for beginning of next season.