The Philadelphia Eagles will place their franchise tag on Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick next month, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. All signs have been leading to this outcome since the end of the Eagles' season.
Vick obviously would prefer a long-term contract, but he'll be soothed by the estimated $20 million that he'll make in 2011, which is the average salary for the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. Now the Eagles can think about fielding offers for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, who is still coveted despite losing his job to Vick early in the 2010 season.
Kolb has made it clear that he wants to "start somewhere" in 2011, but he's also very loyal to Andy Reid and the Eagles. Kolb's set to make $1.4 million in 2011, so he'd be very attractive to quarterback-needy teams such as the Vikings, Cardinals and Panthers. It would be also be interesting to see if Mike Shanahan had any interest in dealing with the Eagles in the aftermath of the Donovan McNabb debacle.
Vick has made it clear he wants to remain with the Eagles, but it will be interesting to see whether receiving the franchise tag will alter his relationship with the organization. He knows he owes Reid and owner Jeff Lurie a lot for giving him a chance to relaunch his NFL career. But that doesn't mean he has to be in love the concept of the franchise tag.
This is a temporary solution to a situation that will become very interesting next season.