Though it’s unclear precisely how much power Eagles coach Andy Reid and G.M. Howie Roseman will have in the wake of the departure of long-time team president Joe Banner, the easy answer is this: more.
Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reports that new team president Don Smolenski will have much less involvement in the football operations than his predecessor, Joe Banner.
“The new team president will no longer be involved in the day to day operations of cap management, player negotiations and acquisitions,” an unnamed senior team official told Paolantonio. “That will all now be the responsibility of Coach Reid and the general manager’s office.”
The Eagles have officially announced the transition, calling it a “front office succession plan.”
“Joe and I have achieved a great deal since I acquired the team,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a press release. “From building Lincoln Financial Field and the NovaCare Complex, to driving the work of the Eagles Youth Partnership and, of course, our successes on the field, Joe has been an integral part of everything we have done.”
“It has been my privilege to work with Jeffrey Lurie over all these years,” Banner said regarding his boyhood friend. “Together we have built a talented front office team that is now ready to assume leadership of this extraordinary franchise. I plan to pursue a major new opportunity within the sports field — one that will enable me to apply all that I have learned as the Eagles president. I could never thank Jeff enough for the opportunity and support he has afforded me.”
Per Paolantonio, Banner is interested in joining an ownership group that hopes to buy an NFL team. He said that he is “open to L.A. I don’t want to single them out, but that’s something I think I can do – set up a franchise, help build a stadium, hire a coach, hire good people to build a a winning organization.”
Notwithstanding Banner’s skills and experience, those opportunities aren’t readily available. Given that Lurie made his money producing movies in Hollywood, Lurie could be in position to help Banner make the appropriate contacts in L.A. Thus, it’s hard not to wonder whether there’s already something in the works that we’ll find out about once it’s official.
Either way, we’ll find out more about Banner’s decision and his next career move on Thursday’s PFT Live, when Banner joins the show as a guest.