We probably should have saw this one coming.
According to CSNPhilly.com’s Reuben Frank, the recent criticism of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles organization hasn’t sat well with team owner Jeffrey Lurie. And there’s one person in particular who has caught his eye–former team president Joe Banner.
Banner, Lurie’s boyhood friend who was tabbed to run the organization in 1994, is rumored to had some less than flattering things to say about his former employer since he was hired as CEO of the Cleveland Browns. And that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Eagles owner.
“I’m very supportive of Howie, and if there’s any criticism coming from afar about Howie, it’s just off-base, and so I will support Howie [Roseman] completely, because that’s not right,” Lurie told Frank. “And, you know, if there are league sources that are really based in Cleveland, that’s not right. We see through it all.”
A recent report by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports raised eyebrows for its liberal use of critical comments by unnamed sources regarding Roseman. Many believes that those source, at least in part, were coming from Cleveland, if not directly from Banner.
Banner, for his part, not only denies such inferences, but has also gone on the offensive.
“It is always difficult to comment on a quote that may or may not be accurate or in context,” Banner said, via a team statement released through the Browns. “In this case, from the comments which Jeffrey made that were communicated to me, it is necessary for me to make this clear, unambiguous statement. Any implication that I had anything to do with Jason La Canfora’s story is completely false, outrageous and borders on being libelous.”
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Banner and Lurie have been openly critical of Banner in discussions with people around the league.
As best we can tell, there is definitely an undercurrent of hostility between Banner, and Lurie and Roseman. We’ve heard an account from one very reliable source of Lurie and Roseman openly criticizing Banner when talking to people not affiliated with the team. Banner, we’re told, privately believes that some of the criticism directed to Roseman is unfair, but that some of it is fair.
Something tells me that this pissing match isn’t quite over.