Eagles decide to play tag with Vick, Akers

Michael Vick will appear in an interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Thursday and it’s doubtful he’ll discuss the Philadelphia Eagles placing the franchise tag on him.

The club made that move official today, announcing the news on its Web site. It does not come as a surprise but we’d be somewhat surprised if the team doesn’t use it as a vehicle to getting a long-term deal done with the quarterback. Otherwise, Vick’s salary for 2011 could approach $20 million. You’d have to believe that for not a lot more than that in terms of guaranteed money, a multi-year agreement could be reached.

What did come as a surprise is that the Eagles have also placed the transition tag on kicker David Akers. Team were permitted to use one franchise tag and one transition tag last season in the uncapped year. Previously, clubs had to choose – one franchise tag or one transition tag. How this will play out as the owners and players plot a course, however slowly, to a new labor agreement remains to be seen.

Under terms of the transition tag, the Eagles only have the right to match an offer to Akers, who had the key missed field goals in the club’s wild-card round playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Akers publicly said he thought he might be done in Philadelphia, but 2010 was one of his finest regular seasons and he was selected to the Pro Bowl. Under terms of the transition tag, his salary will have to be the average among the top 10 kickers and punters in the league.

We’ll see who else the game of tag involves here moving forward.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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