The applied the transition tag to David Akers today, marking the first time the Eagles have used the tag since 1998. For Akers, it means that at worst he will be playing for the Eagles next year on a one year deal that pays him 120% of his salary from last season. However, the fact that the team decided to dust off the tag for Akers has his agent Jerrold Colton upset. Speaking to Les Bowen he called it "a surprise and a disappointment,"
"Our hope all along has been to come to a fair, long-term agreement for David to finish his career as a Philadelphia Eagle," Colton said. While the transition tag shows the team wants him back, Colton said, "it's not exactly the level of salary that we were looking to have."
Looking at what the transition tag really is, is that bad? Akers is free to negotiate and sign with any team he likes, but the Eagles have the right to match his offer. Should they decline, Akers heads to his new team who would owe the Eagles nothing in compensation. Now, it is fair to say that the presence of the tag could turn teams off. If they've got a plan and a budget for next year, they may not want to make David Akers an offer only to have to wait to see if the Eagles match it. Although, for a guy that has spent so long in Philly and his settled here, you'd there would be a decent chance he would taken his best offer back to the Eagles even if he was unrestricted. Still the presence of the tag is certainly not insignificant and clearly he'd rather be totally unrestricted so he could fully seek out his fair market value... but then again, the tag isn't entirely restrictive and might not take a lot for a team pry Akers away.
A team could simply pay Akers what he was looking for from the Eagles. Obviously, at this point the Eagles aren't willing to meet that price... So if a team made him the same offer he'd be looking for as an unrestricted free agent, it stands to reason there's a decent chance they'd get him. Plus, there's always the "poison pill." Since teams owe absolutely nothing in compensation if they sign a player, it might only take a little clause here or there on the part of any team to get Akers if they want to.
So while Akers' agent is out complaining about his guy getting a tag like any agent is supposed to, it would seem that with a little more work on his part Akers could still get the money he's looking for. If you're a team in need of a kicker and you're interested in Akers' services, the transition tag shouldn't be that much of a disincentive to make him an offer.