In a stunning development, Eagles President Joe Banner will be stepping down from his position with the Eagles, according to Philly.com. He will remain in the employ of the Birds, but only as an adviser to Jeffrey Lurie, but will have his duties taken over by GM Howie Roseman and CEO Don Smolenski.
Smolenski will take over the running of the day-to-day operations of the team and the team’s salary cap will be overseen by Roseman.
They say it wasn’t a power struggle which cost Banner his job but how could it not be. Banner wants to stay in the professional sports business and even admitted as much on Wednesday saying he wants to “get involved with the world of buying and selling a sports team with the possibility of becoming part of a group that buys a team.”
Lurie and head coach Andy Reid immediately went into the spin cycle after the announcement was made when asked the question whether Banner was pushed out of the door.
“No, the opposite,” Lurie said. “It was all done, I think, for what’s best for everybody involved.”
“There’s always a report [about] a power struggle,” Reid said. “That’s not the case at all. . . . You only have so much time to have an opportunity to be in this business. And so, [Banner has] got goals for himself and wants to do those things. Just like we do with [assistant] coaches – give them an opportunity to move on and fulfill their goals.”
It seems that Lurie, Banner and Reid want to frame it in the right way, but perhaps Roseman and Reid came together to shrink Banner’s power.
“I’m an employed free agent,” Banner made it a point to add.
I think Banner’s image to the fans doomed him. He was looked upon as the face of the Eagles which the fans hated. The mere mention of his name drew groans from Birds fans nationwide. They saw Banner as team president who didn’t care about the fans.
After the season ended as I see it, the Eagles reassessed their place on the Philadelphia sports scene and decided it needed a drastic change to so they wanted to remove Banner from their public face. They want to be looked upon as being friendlier and kinder, so that meant removing Banner.
Reid is friendlier as well as more open and available to the media. They don’t want to be the bad guys in Philadelphia sports any longer, so that meant removing the face that Philadelphia sports fan have hated for years.