I’m sure Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was shaking his head when he read about former team President Joe Banner laughing about the deal the Birds signed with speedy wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Lurie along with Banner, head coach Andy Reid and team COO Don Smolenski had put together a charade a couple of weeks ago to give all of us the impression that Banner wasn’t fired but had merely decided to go elsewhere in pursuit of a more stimulating challenge.
They all did a good that during the news conference except for when Lurie made a couple of mentions about he had to do what was best for the organization. I was about to swallow some of it until he said that. Now we all know it wasn’t really what had happened.
Banner let the cat out of bag because he couldn’t help but make his side of the arguments that have been going on in the Nova Care Complex be known publicly. Lurie’s life long friend communicated his side of the story in an interview with the Boston Globe.
According to Greg Bedard of the Globe, Banner is “having a good laugh” at the Jackson deal. Here’s what he wrote.
“In his office that is still inside the Eagles’ NovaCare facility, former team president Joe Banner is having a good laugh. Jackson received his $47 million extension, in good measure, because Banner had his contract power usurped. Banner never would have done that deal”.
Clearly the former Eagles President didn’t make this deal and wouldn’t have made this deal with Jackson if he had been in charge of the negotiations.
This is one of the reasons Jackson was quoted on Philly.com last week talking about how “crucial” the 2012 season is to everybody in the organization. Jackson and his future with the Eagles is on the line and the guy who fought for him and his new contract, Reid have got to deliver with a big year.
Surely Reid has sat down with the key members of his football team like Jackson, quarterback Michael Vick and let them know what the situation is here with the football team. They must at least have a big year and go deep into the playoffs.
Truth is they want more than that so they can validate the decision by Reid to stand up to Banner and initiate the battle that led to the ouster of the Boston-native from his team President position.
Reid had been the good soldier in the past when Banner had refused to allow him to hang onto a player, who he thought could help the football team. The situation had changed now because Reid’s job is on the line going into the 2012 season.
He was no longer willing to stand aside and let Banner make de facto roster moves by low-balling players Reid wanted to keep but he wanted to get rid of.
The Jackson negotiation was a central point of the team’s post season meetings. Reid was on one side and Banner was on the other. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times by Sam Farmer, Reid laid it all on the line when he gave Lurie and the Eagles an ultimatum. Either he gets the power to overrule Banner on roster moves or he’s ready to leave the organization.
Obviously, we can see the Reid was the winner of the battle and Lurie knew during the struggle that it was time to say good-bye to Banner and his methods of running the football team.