Was Joe Banner fired? Or was he promoted?
As fans and pundits debate that for the next few days, the Eagles are moving forward. The team announced Thursday that long-time president Joe Banner will transition to a new role as Strategic Advisor to the Owner. Chief Operating Officer Don Smolenski is now president.
The Eagles are holding a press conference to announce the change at 2 p.m.
“There is no better executive in sports than Joe Banner,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “Joe and I have achieved a great deal since I acquired the team.”
But not a Super Bowl, of course. Many have expressed frustration over the way Banner presents himself and the way he speaks to the media. Philadelphia Inquirer writer Jeff McLane, who broke the story early Thursday morning, told 94.1 WIP that Banner was essentially pushed out. Coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman will have total control over personnel decisions.
“Without the support and hard work of the front office, led by Joe Banner, we would not have achieve all that we have accomplished,” Reid said in a statement.
Banner is still technically employed with the team, but he is expected to move on at some point. He even told a local radio station that he is a “free agent.”