Michael Vick will sign his franchise tender from the Eagles on Wednesday, two weeks after the team placed the tag on the quarterback, a league source said Tuesday.
If the one-year tender were to remain in a new collective bargaining agreement, Vick would stand to earn slightly more than $16 million next season. Of course, with the CBA set to expire Thursday at midnight, there is the possibility that the franchise tag designation could be tweaked or eliminated from a new deal.
The NFL Players Association is claiming that the tags, which allow each team exclusive rights to one of its free agents, are invalid if the CBA expires. However, many expect the tag to remain in a new agreement.
The tender does not preclude the 30-year-old Vick and the Eagles from working out a long-term deal once a new CBA is in place. In fact, most teams are reluctant to have their starting quarterbacks play in the final year of a contract.
Eagles president Joe Banner said two weeks ago that Vick was part of the Eagles' long-range plans.
"We have interest in him long-term," Banner told reporters at the NovaCare Complex. "We wouldn't be sitting here and putting a franchise tag on him if he's somebody that we weren't very excited about."
If Vick were to play under the franchise tag, he would be paid the average of what the top five quarterbacks in the league make. Vick earned about $5.25 million in 2010, but he also earned performance-based incentives.
Some players dislike being franchised, but when the Eagles tagged him on Feb. 15, Vick told reporters that he was "proud to be an Eagle." He later tweeted that "2011 will be a huge success."
His agent, Joel Segal, had no comment on Tuesday.
Vick is expected to be in Atlantic City on Friday to receive an award from the Maxwell Club. He has collected his share of honors for the 2010 season, being named the Associated Press comeback player of the year after missing two seasons while serving a jail sentence and playing sparingly in 2009.
Vick opened the season as the backup to Kevin Kolb, but he replaced the injured starter in Week 1 and went on to lead the Eagles to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. Despite missing three games with an injury, he set career highs in passing yards (3,018), passing touchdowns (21), rushing TDs (9), completion percentage (62.6), and passer rating (100.2).
Whatever the future holds in terms of a new labor deal, the Eagles' franchise tag and Vick's signing of the tender confirm that both sides are looking forward to the 2011 season with the quarterback in an Eagles uniform.
The same cannot be said of Kolb, who has one year left on his contract. The Eagles are expected to receive plenty of offers for the 26-year-old, but they cannot consider a trade until a new labor agreement is in place.