Don Smolenski Takes Over For Joe Banner As Philadelphia Eagles President

7 06 2012

Long-time Eagles president Banner is out in Philly. (US Presswire)

There have been subtle winds of front-office change for the Eagles all offseason and on early Thursday a storm blew in, as owner Jeffrey Lurie said that Joe Banner is out as team president.

The Eagles announced the move early Thursday morning, calling the decision to remove Banner and install Don Smolenski in what they’re calling a “front-office succession plan.” Lurie told the Philadephia Inquirer that Banner is “a free agent now,” but he’s remaining with the Eagles in the capacity of “Strategic Advisor to the Owner.”

“There is no better executive in sports than Joe Banner,” said Lurie. “We are making this announcement today because he is looking for a greater challenge, and in Don Smolenski I have a highly regarded, very worthy successor as President of this team. Joe and I have achieved a great deal since I acquired the team. 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.”

Banner’s been with the Eagles since 1994, receiving a promotion to the role of president in 2001. Though Philly is Super Bowl-less under his watch, the Eagles have been to the playoffs nine times since 2000.

In recent months, general manager Howie Roseman has assumed a more public profile for the Eagles, with Banner moving further to the background. Naturally, Lurie was asked about whether or not Banner’s change in job title was a result of a power struggle.

“No, the opposite,” Lurie said. “It was all done, I think, for what’s best for everybody involved.”

According to one report, the change in personnel will also equate to a change in job description, with Roseman and coach Andy Reid assuming the majority of the day-to-day operations, including cap management, player negotiations and acquisitions.

Banner will announce the news at a Thursday press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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