Why Akers did not sign tag; Vick does

Michael Vick signed his tender from the Eagles, but David Akers did not. (Staff Photographs)

Updated: As expected, Michael Vick has signed his franchise tender, meaning he is under conract for next season.

The Eagles used the exclusive rights franchise tag on him Feb. 15. By using the exclusive rights tag, other teams were prevented from making offers.

Under the current terms of the CBA, Vick will make more than $16 million in 2011, the average of the top five quarterbacks salaries. He had a $5.25 million base salary in 2010, but upped that considerably with incentives. Of course, there is no guarantee that the franchise tag will even exist moving forward.

Shortly after the announcement, Vick wrote on Twitter, "Proud to be an Eagle!"

Eight players who were franchised have signed their tenders as the clock ticks down toward the end of the current labor agreement between the NFL and the players' union.


Chantilly, Va. -- David Akers' agent, Jerrold Colton, explained his client's decision not to sign the Eagles' transition tender in simple terms: the benefit of being transition tagged is that you get to shop for a good deal. Then the team that tagged you is free to match that deal and keep you.

But there hasn't been any free agency yet in this strangest of NFL offseasons, so Akers has fielded no offers. Once he signs the tender, worth about $2.9 million in his case, the bidding is over. Akers and Colton would like the bidding to start before it ends.

Then there is the larger point, that the NFL players' union doesn't recognize the tenders, with no collective bargaining agreement.

"Signing it wasn't even ever a consideration," Colton said, as federally mediated bargaining talks continued in Washington and NFL owners prepared to meet here in Virginia. The NFL could be headed to a lockout by the end of the week.