In a move as shocking as the day the Philadelphia Eagles signed Michael Vick or drafted Kevin Kolb, the team has announced longtime team president Joe Banner will be removed from his duties as president.
Don Smolenski, the former chief operating officer, will resume Banner’s role. The team will be holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today to further discuss the issue.
Banner had served as the team president since 2001, and there had been reports of power conflicts between head coach Andy Reid and Banner. Reid has always wanted more control over the team, and it’s likely he will get it, as a source told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio that “the new president will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of cap management, player negotiations and acquisitions.”
It’s ironic that Reid was unofficially on the hot seat following a disappointing 8-8 season, and now he has seemingly gained more power.
Reid is entering his 14th season as the head coach of the Eagles, and he still has yet to win that elusive Super Bowl ring despite nine trips to the playoffs, five trips to the conference championship game and a Super Bowl appearance.
Reid has turned in a tremendous offseason thus far for the Eagles, re-signing playmaking wide receiver DeSean Jackson and top guard Evan Mathis, extending Todd Herremans and Trent Cole, trading for Houston Texans Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans and drafting top players in Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin.
The Eagles enter ’12 once again seen as serious competitors in the NFC East, although time seems to be running out for the team, especially with Vick set to turn 32 years old before the season starts.
Reid got his wish with more power, but he likely doesn’t have much time to prove he deserves that power. He’s a free agent after the 2013 season, and if he doesn’t take the Eagles deep into the postseason next January, owner Jeffrey Lurie might part ways with the longest tenured coach in the National Football League.