Akers to be unrestricted; reporting date delayed

Continuing to follow the fall out from the new rules NFL owners approved Thursday ...

David Akers will be an unrestricted free agent whenever NFL business resumes, yet another reason why you can expect to see the long-time Eagles kicker elsewhere this season.

Under terms of the CBA owners voted on, a team can use either the franchise tag or the transition tag on free agents, not both. The Eagles have already franchised Michael Vick, and he signed the tender, so the transition tag they applied to Akers in February is gone.

Teams were only able to use one of the tags up until 2010, when the uncapped year provided a quirk in the rules. The Eagles knew that it was unlikely that they'd be able to use both tags, but applied them anyway, just in case the CBA turned out differently. In any case, we probably knew Akers was out of Philly already, since he refused to sign the tag and the team drafted kicker Alex Henery. This just adds to the evidence.

The Eagles, meanwhile, face a Sept. 20 deadline for reaching a contract extension with Vick, we reported earlier. Eagles president Joe Banner declined to comment on plans for the quarterback.

Facilities won't open Saturday
The brief optimism of Thursday night is quickly turning to this reality: we've still got some distance to cover before we start seeing players back at facilities and the trade/free agency market start churning.

Because of the NFLPA hasn't voted on the CBA, the opening of team facilities has been pushed back at least a day. That means they won't open until Sunday, at the earliest, instead of Saturday. The start of free agency and trades -- originally slated for Wednesday -- may now also move to Thursday, or later if the negotiations continue to drag out.

If the NFLPA's executive committee recommends approving the CBA, players can then show up at team facilities, but the deal would need full ratification for the league year to start and open the door to trades and free agent signings.

Continue Reading