The writing was on the wall, the next step little more than a formality. When the NFL released its official listing of free agents at 6 p.m. Monday, David Akers' name was not followed by the word "Transition," indicating the Eagles rescinded the tag and will allow their kicker of 12 seasons to become an unrestricted free agent.
The move comes as no surprise after the Birds used a fourth round draft pick on Alex Henery, but the impending departure of the franchise's all-time leader in points is probably worth a mention.
Akers was slapped with the transition tag back in February, which guaranteed a one-year contract worth the average salary of the 10 highest paid players at his position. Other teams would still be able to sign Akers to an offer sheet, which the Eagles would then have seven days to match.
Obviously, none of that was necessary anymore. However, it also should be noted a new league rule forced the organization's hand. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams now may only use either the franchise tag or the transition tag in the same year. Since the Eagles already used the franchise tag to sign Mike Vick, the other designation was no longer available.
Of course, all of that is really beside the point, because there has been next to no chance Akers would be brought back since April.
Akers had quite the distinguished career in Philadelphia, as evidenced by his five Pro Bowl nods. While he leaves town a goat, missing two field goals that might have been the difference in a Wild Card playoff game against the eventual Super Bowl champions in January, Akers will be best remembered for being the greatest kicker in franchise history.
>> Eagles rescind David Akers' transition tag [PFT]
>> Looking At The In-House FAs-To-Be [PE.com]
The Phillies' depth at second base has taken a hit.
Jesmuel Valentin, the starter at Triple A Lehigh Valley, is headed for surgery after dislocating his left shoulder. General manager Matt Klentak indicated that it was likely Valentin would miss the remainder of the season.
Valentin, 23, made a good showing in big-league spring training camp and, in fact, was the last position player cut from the 25-man roster. He had been off to a slow start at Lehigh Valley, hitting just .229 with a .573 OPS in his first 29 games.
With Valentin out, the Phillies could promote top second base prospect Scott Kingery from Double A to Triple A. While that is likely to happen at some point, nothing is imminent, Klentak said. The IronPigs will use veteran Pedro Florimon at second for the time being.
Kingery, 23, has been on a tear at Reading. He entered Monday leading the Eastern League in homers (13), extra-base hits (25) and slugging (.651). Overall, he was hitting .289 with a 1.018 OPS.
"Not imminent," Klentak said of a possible promotion for Kingery. "Very possible down the road. We've got more than enough infield coverage (at Triple A) to be fine and Kingery is good where he is."
Kingery, a 2015 draft pick, played just 37 games at the Double A level last season. He entered Monday having played in 37 games there this season.
Kingery on Monday was named the Eastern League player of the week for May 15-21. He went 9 for 30 with five homers, six RBIs, nine runs scored and an .833 OPS.
With all the bat flips going on in Major League Baseball by the likes of Odubel Herrera and Jose Bautista, it's a good bet that kids watching the game are taking notice.
Gloucester Catholic High School's Chris Turco has apparently seen the celebration.
In a game on Sunday, Turco launched the ball high above the wall in left field. However, he may have launched the bat even higher.
Look at this ridiculous bat flip.
According to Kevin Minnick of South Jersey Sports Digest, both of the next hitters were plunked and Turco's team lost.
Despite that, Turco is giving the pros a run for their money in the bat flip department.