We all knew it was coming eventually for the longest-tenured Eagle.
For months now we've known that David Akers, the Eagles kicker for the last 12 years, would not be returning to Philadelphia. Initially it looked like he'd be back, if unhappily. The Eagles slapped the transition tag on him after the 2010 season, preventing him from signing elsewhere.
But then in the draft the Eagles selected highly-regarded Nebraska kicker Alex Henery in the fourth round. The writing was on the wall.
Monday, with the NFL lockout over, the Eagles used their very first chance to make the change official, rescinding Akers's tag that would have kept him in Philadelphia. Akers will now be an unrestricted free agent who can sign anywhere he wants.
In truth, the Eagles couldn't have kept the tag on Akers even if they wanted to. The new collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from using both their franchise and transition tags. The team already used their franchise tag on QB Michael Vick.
Akers leaves as the best kicker in Eagles history. He set an NFL record for points scored in a single decade (2000-2009) with 1,114. He was a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time 1st team All-Pro, and three-time NFC Special Teams player of the month. Akers also actively gave back to the community with his Kicks for Kids program that benefitted the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Akers's shoes will not be easy to fill.