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Banner Extended, New CCO, Roseman Responds to Criticism

Banner For Three More Years, Roseman Speaks
By Lance Epstein
Today the Philadelphia Eagles announced that they have signed team president Joe Banner to a three-year contract extension. Banner was heading into his last year of his current contract, so it was necessary to get a new deal done.
When owner Jeffrey Lurie purchases the team in 1994, one of his first moves was hiring Banner. In 2001, Banner was promoted to team president.
“Joe’s superb foresight both on and off of the football field has been a key driving force for the team’s achievements,” Lurie said in a statement.
In addition to Banner’s extension, the Eagles have promoted Don Smolenski to the team's chief operating officer position.
"I want to thank Jeffrey and Christina Lurie and Joe Banner for giving me this opportunity," said Smolenski. "I am honored to be a part of this great franchise and its commitment to bring an NFL Championship to this City."
While this might not be the biggest news for this offseason, it gives stability in the organization. Fans might not like Banner's cost-cutting moves or his decision making on older players like Brian Dawkins, but they cannot argue with his success rate. Since 1995, the team has made the playoff 10 times (67 percent of the time), has the third most playoff wins of any franchise and the sixth-best record of any franchise at 148-111-2.
Again, this news is not going to get the national attention that the Donovan McNabb trade rumors or offseason signings will get, but it allows the Eagles franchise to be successful going forward. You may not like Banner, but all he does is win.
Roseman Responds to Yahoo Sports Michael Sliver:
Earlier this week, Michael Silver, a NFL columnist for Yahoo! Sports reported NFL GM’s ripping into new Eagles GM Howie Roseman about his trade tactics in trading Sheldon Brown and McNabb and his dealings with other teams.
In the article, Silver proclaims that McNabb is basically
still wearing an Eagles’ uniform because of Roseman has turned off other teams. Silver also reported that other GMs have anointed Roseman as a "shakedown artist" for his attempts to get too much value for Brown and McNabb. Apparently it has gotten so bad that teams have refused to even answer the telephone when he calls.
"That’s where I think ego gets in the way," one NFL GM reported to Silver. "Quite a few teams are quickly realizing that they don’t want to do business with Philly. With McNabb, I think [Roseman’s] trying to be too smart for his own good. Instead of trying to put a feather in his cap by walking way with a lopsided trade, which you rarely get in this league, he should try to get a legitimate deal done. In the long run, you don’t want to be known as the guy who wants to bamboozle people. I think they’re being unrealistic, and it’s putting them in a funky spot."
Furthermore, Silver bashes Roseman for being to smart for his own good and trying to hard to make a name for himself around the league.
"Roseman is the guy trying to prove to the rest of the league that he belongs,’’ Silver wrote. "He seems to be on a mission to prove how shrewd he is to his peers.’’
It is hard to imagine that GMs around the league (with their jobs on the line) are not answering the phone when the Eagles call considering the team has made two trades since free agency began. Additionally, the Eagles have performed business like this for years, so why would it all-of-the-sudden be a problem.
Furthermore, in negotiations you start out with a high asking price and the other side negotiates down. So why wouldn’t he asked for the world at first? That is just good business.
I would not be surprised if the un-named GM in Silver's article had his low-ball offer rejected by the Eagles and is just bitter about it. Of course, you would think that he would not come out publicly and show his true colors, but his ego might have gotten the better of him.
Either way, Roseman gave his side of the story today to Philadelphia Inquirer's Les Bowen. Here are the quotes he gave about the specifics of the article.
On the report:
"That’s part of the business. I understand that the guy’s got a job to do. To me, if you keep your eye on the ball and you get the best talent and you win a lot of games, all of that stuff is just on the sidelines. It’s my responsibility to make sure we do that and work with coach (Andy Reid) and get the right players.’’
On being called ``shakedown artist’’:
"We always try to be fair with people. I’m not worried about it. We’ve made trades with Tampa and Seattle this offseason. We’ll probably make another couple of trades. I haven’t sensed that. I think this is a unique situation. I think he’s talking about the quarterbacks. I understand the perception. We like our quarterbacks. We think we have three really good players.’’
On Silver’s calling him out on being on a mission to prove how shrewd he is to his peers:
"There are people who don’t know me in the league. I understand that. Perception sometimes becomes reality if you don’t know someone. I do the same thing. I look forward to the opportunity to talk to more people and get to know more and more people in the league. That’s the only way really to do this. I’m comfortable in who I am and what I’m trying to do. I’m certainly not trying to prove to anyone that I’m smarter than they are or trying to pull something over on anyone.
"Anyone who knows me knows relationships are very important to me. Relationships within the building and outside the building. I will do whatever I can to make sure people feel good when they’re dealing with us and dealing with me.’’
I respect Roseman's ability to take the high road here with such a vicious report that came out. A lot of people would have allowed their ego's to get in the way and say something that they may regret later on. Instead, he explained his position and even stated he is willing to do anything to have good relationships with people outside the Eagles franchise.
More importantly, it is great to see Roseman saying that he is confident in his style because if he was not, this article could ruin his young career. He seems to have thick skin, which is needed in the city of Philadelphia.
At the same time, it was great to see that the Eagles are still working on making additional trades.
On a last note, if teams are not fielding calls from Roseman, than they are also ignoring calls from Reid as well, since he is the ultimate decision maker. Somehow, I doubt teams are unwilling to talk to Big Red.

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