Banner On Vick Decision, Reid's Future - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Banner On Vick Decision, Reid's Future


The Eagles put the franchise tag on quarterback Michael Vick, which means Vick is the guy for at least the next year.

Vick will earn around $16 million.

Fox 29's John Anderson was live at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday morning with the man behind the decisions, Eagles President Joe Banner.

"I mean, at the moment we have no choice," Banner said of Tuesday's decision to franchise Vick. "I'll try to explain. The rules at the moment literally prohibit us from making a deal with Michael – or David Akers, for that matter, who was involved in yesterday's activity, too."

The Eagles also put the transition tag on Pro Bowl kicker David Akers. In Coach Andy Reid's words, the moves were made to "ensure that they'll be back in Philadelphia next season."

Banner told "Good Day" on Wednesday morning, "So, the only way to preserve our rights and retain Michael for the short term and preserve the opportunity to do a long-term deal is to put a franchise tag on it."

The Eagles front office man said Vick was "aware it was coming."

"We had spoken with him and his agent about it – very good relationships between the two," Banner said. "So, it's a positive for everybody."

If a new collective bargaining agreement gets done soon to avoid a possible lockout next year in the National Football League, could the tag be pushed away to let the team start negotiating with Vick?

Banner answered, "I mean, you'd leave the franchise tag on and, presumably, at that point, you'd know the rules, he'd know the rules, we'd just make a decision whether, you know, there was a long-term deal we could agree to, and then see what happened. But you'd keep the franchise tag because, you know, you want to make sure you have Michael next year no matter what happens. And you don't want to give away that right, really, and that frankly is a little bit of a leverage in having it. But I think for him, as well, he wants to be here, we want to have him be here, so we're both fine with the way this stacks up for the moment."

In Akers' case, the Eagles' long-time kicker could go elsewhere. How confident is Banner in No. 2's return to wear midnight green and black?

"Well, I mean, you never know. Obviously our actions indicate that's what we want to have happen, and obviously David would prefer a long-term deal – all players would. But, again, this holds our right so that if he did talk to another team, we'd have the right to match that offer and keep David, or we'd have the right to talk to him in the meantime and try to get something done so he has no need to talk to somebody else. But we will not be able to do that with him, either, until we get this CBA settled."

Banner said making commitments that they want to keep the players in town is "the positive," and he said in Aker's case, "I know David well enough to know that David would feel good that we want him here. He may not want it on these terms but, you know, all players like to feel – I think everybody who's employed likes to feel that where they work appreciates them and wants them to be part of their future. And then you have to work out the details."

"So, we sent a message to both those players that we appreciate what they've done here, and we're hoping they'll be part of the future," he said.

As for Rich Hoffman's piece in the Daily News on Wednesday titled "Eagles President Hints The Clock's Ticking On Reid," Anderson asked where that ticking clock is.

Banner joked back, "Did you find a hint?"

When Anderson noted that Banner seemed pretty positive about Reid in his remarks, Banner said, "Listen, I am very complimentary of the head coach and, you know, it's disappointing because the story speaks for itself. And I think it's totally fair and accurate, and I think the headline is a little distorted of what I said on my view, on our view, which is that Andy brings a lot to the table. And we feel we're lucky to have him, we feel like he's done a good job. And at the same time we recognize and he recognizes there's a big hole in what our primary objective is here and what we've achieved, and that we believe he's capable of achieving that, and that's why he's the head coach. I look to the future and anticipate him continuing to be the head coach. But we have that goal. That's the reason we're here 365 days a year working and trying to make decisions and make moves to hit that goal. And that's what we're focused on."

Has a timeline been set for how soon a Super Bowl must be won?

"I mean, what I say – because you know I get asked this all the time, even when I go out to dinner with friends – is for our mental well-being it has to get done this year," Banner said with a laugh.

"I mean it's just incredibly disappointing and frustrating that we've had so many chances, we've gotten close so many times, and haven't gotten there. But, you know, I don't know what the year's going to be. Is it going to be a full season? Are we going to be able to stay reasonably healthy – the last couple years we've just had some incredibly bad luck on the injury front. You know, what's realistic to expect? There's all those unknowns."

Banner continued, "Now, we have an obligation to go into the season with a roster and a coaching staff that we believe is good enough that it has a realistic – we're not fooling ourselves, we're not rationalizing, we're not spinning anything – a realistic chance to win the Super Bowl. Then, we have to see how it goes, and hopefully this will be the year that we can finally get there."

Anderson solicited a question for Banner on his Twitter account, and one person asked if all of these franchise tags around the league are a hint pointing to as lockout.

"I don't think the franchise tag is saying that at all," Banner answered. "I think you'd be seeing the same players franchise tagged right now. Either that or some of them would maybe getting long-term deals. But there'd be activity on these particular players, regardless. And I think everybody's committed to hoping and doing everything they can that there won't be a lockout, but obviously right now they haven't agreed. And until they do, we all have to live with that uncertainty."

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