Joe Banner To Pursue "Major New Opportunity"

The Eagles announced this morning that Joe Banner will step down as team president, the role he has filled since Jeff Lurie bought the team. Banner will become the "Strategic Advisor to the Owner," and as he says, pursue something major.

"It has been my privilege to work with Jeffrey Lurie over all these years," said Banner. "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."

No word at this point whether this "major" thing is already lined up or if he's just looking for something.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie praised Banner and announced that COO Dom Smolenski will be promoted to President.

"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." Lurie further noted, "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."

As for what this means in the dynamics of the organization... Andy Reid certainly seems to have near unchecked power at this point. One of the great myths of the Eagles front office was that Howie Roseman was Joe Banner's "guy." Sal Paolantonio has said a few times that in fact he's always been much closer to Reid. The way Roseman made his way up through the organization was by bringing ideas to Reid directly. It was Andy who has been promoting him, which is why you always year the two deferring to each other at press conferences.

The Eagles will hold a press conference this afternoon, but in the meantime what do you make of this? Where might Banner be headed?

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