The Philadelphia Eagles announced that Joe Banner is no longer president of the team.
He is expected to become a strategic adviser to owner Jeffrey Lurie, keeping him within the organization. But he is also expected to pursue opportunities outside of the organization, and is being called a “free agent” by Lurie. Banner, who has been with the Eagles since Lurie arrived in 1994, called himself an “employed free agent.”
Chief operating officer Don Smolenski will replace Banner as the president of the Eagles, and will run the day-to-day operations. General manager Howie Roseman will assume all of Banner’s responsibilities in managing the salary cap and contract negotiations, according to philly.com.
The Eagles will announce the decision in a news conference scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
According to reports, the Eagles are calling this a “front-office succession plan”, saying that this idea began when Banner approached Lurie last spring about the possibility of “getting involved with the world of buying and selling a sports team with the possibility of becoming part of a group that buys a team.”
The Eagles’ fan base likely is wondering whether the removal of Banner as team president has anything to do with the reports that indicate that head coach Andy Reid wants more power in the organization. If you’re thinking like me, you probably feel that the removal of Banner increases the probability of Reid being with the Eagles beyond the 2012 season, regardless of how the team does next year.
From this point forward, the Eagles will use the trio of Lurie, Reid, and general manager Howie Roseman to make important football decisions, instead of the quartet that also included Banner.
Stay tuned for more on this story as we hear more information.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for Eagles Central and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.