Joe Banner's departure no surprise

Amid the flurry of firings that accompany the end of every NFL season, came persistent rumblings that Joe Banner, longtime team president of the Philadelphia Eagles and architecht of their rise as an organization, was on his way out. The chatter was everywhere around the league, and while Banner and the Eagles denied it, this was an obvious case where there was some smoke to that fire. By June it was in fact true and Banner was leaving.

Banner wanted new challenges, was what you heard through the offseason. The Eagles were coming off a fairly disastrous season and the idea that Banner, young GM Howie Roseman, who seemed to be gaining more and more power, and always under-fire coach Andy Reid were going to remain in tact, long-term, was folly. Other NFL execs, and some who had worked with Banner before, believed that back in January he was going to leave to help try to build another organization elsewhere, quite possibly with an eye to getting a Los Angeles franchise off the ground.

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Roseman had become the public face of the front office, Banner was receding from the scene, and, if the Eagles had another disappointing season in 2013, and were facing a coaching change, most presumed that would be Roseman's call. And in this business, this kind of change is inevitable. Three cooks in any one NFL kitchen, short of a championship, likely was not going to last all that long.

Spending close to 20 years in one organization is beyond rare; doing it in the cauldron that is Philadelphia, of all places, is astonishing.

The Eagles rose to become a perennial title threat under Banner, he put the hierarchy in place, mastered the salary cap, and withstood a fairly regular barrage from the fans and the media despite the team's success. Yes, anything short of a Super Bowl won't be enough in Philly, I get it, but to be in the conversation for as long as they have been is nothing to trivialize.

Banner, like Donovan McNabb, perhaps won't truly be appreciated in Philly until long after he has gone, but he brings a superb resume and work experience with him wherever he ends up (including being a part of the negotiating of this CBA, which is working decidedly in the favor of the owners). He may not be the most lovable guy in the league, but I've always enjoying my dealings with him and what he accomplished withe Eagles holds him in high regard among his peers.

You could do a helluva lot worse than to have Joe Banner restructure your franchise, and I suspect it won't be all that long before he is doing just that once again.
CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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