Another year to soar: Vick, Akers receive Eagles' tags

The Philadelphia Eagles confirmed Tuesday that they placed the franchise tag on quarterback Michael Vick and the transition tag on kicker David Akers.

Vick, who was selected The Associated Press' Comeback Player of the Year the day before Super Bowl XLV, will be paid roughly $16 million, which is the average salary of the NFL's five highest-paid quarterbacks. The Eagles would like to sign Vick to a longer-term deal.

Eagles president Joe Banner told the team's official site that Vick's franchise tag is exclusive, meaning no other teams can compete for the quarterback's services.

That doesn't bother Vick, who tweeted: "Proud to be an Eagle. 2011 will be a huge success!"

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's contract situation will impact exactly how much Vick receives next season. If Manning signs his franchise tender of $23.07 million, then the average compensation of QBs would rise, and Vick's salary would be above $16 million. But Manning conceivably could sign a new long-term contract with a lower 2011 salary-cap figure, which would cause Vick's figure to drop some.

Akers will be paid the average of the NFL's top 10 kickers, a figure of approximately a few million for 2011.

Akers is coming off his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and the fifth of his career. The transition tag also means the Eagles could match any offer that Akers receives from another team.

"Michael Vick and David Akers were two of our most valuable players last year," Eagles coach Andy Reid told the team's website. "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."

Akers' agent, Jerrold Colton, was less enthused about his client receiving the transition tag, telling the Philadelphia Daily News the move came as "a surprise and disappointment."

After missing two seasons while serving a federal sentence for dogfighting, then spending most of the 2009 season as a seldom-used backup in Philadelphia, Vick was back at his best in 2010. Taking over as the starter in Week 2 after Kevin Kolb sustained a concussion, Vick ran and passed the Eagles to the NFC East title and a 10-6 record.

Despite missing three games because of a rib injury, Vick had the best statistics of his career, setting career highs in passing yards (3,018), touchdown passes (21), rushing touchdowns (9), completion percentage (62.6) and passer rating (100.2).

Vick said he never had more fun playing football than he did during his second season with the Eagles.

"I've come a long way," he said on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" on Feb. 5. "I hate to re-live the past, I always want to move forward, but everything happens for a reason. Being a part of the Philadelphia Eagles, having the type of season I had, being around the type of players I've been around, and having the type of coaching I've had over the last year and a half has been destined."

Wyche: Will tag mean anything?

It seems like the Eagles made the right move by using the exclusive-rights franchise tag on Michael Vick to assure he'll be back. Not so fast, Steve Wyche writes. **More ...**

A star in Atlanta for most of his six seasons as a Falcon after being selected first overall in the 2001 draft, Vick missed 2007 and 2008 while incarcerated for 18 months in a federal prison. The Eagles signed Vick to a two-year contract worth 6.8 million; he once had a $130 million Falcons deal that was the NFL's richest.

The Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins in April, believing Kolb would be the starter. He was -- for one game. With Kolb sidelined, Vick was sensational.

Vick threw for five touchdowns in his first two starts, both wins, then damaged rib cartilage against Washington, forcing him out for 3½ games. But Reid let him keep the job, and Vick was even more dynamic when he returned.

In a Monday night game against the Redskins, Vick had a performance for the ages, throwing for four touchdowns and running for two in a 59-28 win. Vick also threw for three scores and ran for one in a 38-31 victory over the New York Giants, a game in which the Eagles trailed by 21 points in the fourth quarter.

"Michael has great instincts. Michael's got it all at this point," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "Really, the most important quality, in my opinion, for a quarterback to have is gut instincts, then comes the decision-making and the timing and accuracy. Then comes the big arm and athleticism and those types of things. The gut instincts are critical for a quarterback, and you can see that."

Akers, a 12th-year pro, made more than 84 percent (32 of 38) of his field-goal attempts in 2010 and was perfect on 47 extra-point tries during a season in which he revealed his 6-year-old daughter is battling cancer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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