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To Franchise or Not to Franchise…?
Posted By Christopher Rowe On Jan 30 2011 @ 3:17 pm In NFL,Philadelphia,Philadelphia Eagles | 48 Comments
According to a report by several sources, the Philadelphia Eagles plan to place the franchise tag on QB Michael Vick when the opportunity arises. Franchising Vick would ensure that the Comeback Player of the Year will spend his 2011 season back in Philadelphia. It will also ensure that Vick will make a one-year salary commensurate with the Top 5 QB in the NFL and that a long-term deal is far less likely for 2012 and beyond. All of this would be contingent upon the CBA arrangements.
If franchise tags will not be available in a new CBA, the Eagles would have to decide to either sign Vick to a one-year deal (which would require more negotiations) or to attempt a longer-term deal.
It was also reported that the Eagles will entertain offers for quarterback Kevin Kolb, who is signed through the 2011 season. Naturally until the new Collective Bargaining agreement is in effect, trades for players under contract cannot occur. Why this would be leaked now indicates that perhaps the Eagles are confident in a new CBA earlier than the March expiration – and have reason to believe the new CBA will include franchise tags . This still does not explain the notion of releasing this information prior to the new CBA agreement – unless the team is trying to gauge fan and media support for these two actions.
Since the Eagles are not in the habit of consulting their fan base or the media for any personnel moves, it is likely that they are attempting to use media and fan support as a source of leverage. Much as the team chose to use fan reaction to pressure Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins into accepting lesser contracts “for the good of the team” it is likely that team management feels they would benefit from media pressure on Vick and Kolb. Kolb has indicated that he’d like to be traded to a team that will offer him an opportunity to start.
Naturally if Vick were not to return, Kolb would be the starter by default (much as he was heading into the 2010 season – before being knocked out in the season opener). Management’s duplicity is to leverage Kolb in order to counter-leverage Vick and then to hold that up to the light of the fan base. Kolb and Vick showed support for one another’s success throughout the 2010 season and will likely continue to do so publicly regardless of the team’s actions.
Vick will lead the NFC team in today’s Pro Bowl at 7 PM EST on FOX. DeSean Jackson has chosen to sit out due to injury (knee). David Akers, Asante Samuel and Trent Cole are all in Hawaii participating.
According to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, the reason the Eagles must use the franchise tag on Vick is because the Pro Bowl quarterback reached incentives in 2010 that eliminated the possibility of doing a long-term extension under the current framework of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which expires at midnight on March 4.
Under the franchise tag, the player is tendered a one-year contract at the average of the five highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of the player’s 2010 salary, whatever is higher. With the transition tag, a player is tendered a one-year contract at the average of the top 10 highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of the player’s 2010 salary.
The franchise tag value at the quarterback position was $16.405 million in 2010.
Related Article: Decisions, Decisions http://prosportsblogging.com/nfl-football/philadelphia-eagles/decisions-decisions/ 
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