Eagles team president Banner gets extension
Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner, one of the NFL's most effective administrators and arguably its top salary cap manager, has signed a contract extension through the 2010 season.
Details were not available, but owner Jeff Lurie borrowed from the philosophy of his top lieutenant with the move, extending the tenure of a person key the team well before his existing contract expired. Banner has been adept at identifying core players early in their career and then signing them to long-term, and often salary cap-friendly, contracts.
"Joe plays a crucial role in most everything we accomplish," Lurie said. "His determination, intelligence and desire for success are invaluable assets to the Philadelphia Eagles. He's a great team player, unselfish, and wants what's best for the franchise, our fans and our players."
Banner, 53, has essentially overseen the daily operations of the Eagles since 1994. He was promoted to team president in August 2001.
Although his background is in business, Banner has been key to the development of the Eagles' football structure and played a major role in the hiring of coach Andy Reid in 1999. Banner's management style is to allow the football people to do their jobs, although he does lend input, and certainly keeps a close watch on personnel matters.
Unique about Banner's assessments of players and their value to a team is that he has merged actuarial concepts into the analysis to help determine, for instance, when veterans at certain positions might be headed into decline. The practice has resulted in Philadelphia making very few mistakes on contracts and on always being well under the salary cap.
Banner was also key in the completion of the team's NovaCare Complex practice center and in the construction of Lincoln Financial Field, which opened in 2003.
About the only thing Banner has failed to accomplish with the Eagles is winning a Super Bowl title, and that remains his goal.
"I want to keep this franchise strong and play whatever role I can in having that [Super Bowl] parade that everybody here wants," Banner told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A longtime business associate of Lurie, it was Banner who convinced the owner to buy the Eagles after a failed attempt to acquire their hometown New England Patriots. Banner is also a force in the community through various charitable endeavors and is local co-chairman for City Year, a national service organization.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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