Former Eagles’ president Joe Banner joined the Cleveland Browns organization with the hope that he’d be able to turn around one of the league’s worst franchises and build up a legacy of his own after losing his power in Philadelphia.
However, that dream of Banner’s is over after just two years. The former Eagles’ president along with his general manager Mike Lombardi have been shown the door by the Browns in favor of new general manager Ray Farmer.
Banner was unable to make any kind of positive impact during his short stay with the Browns. He went through two head coaches in two years, firing Pat Shurmer after the 2012 season and hiring (and firing) Rob Chudzinski within a year.
“It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization,” Banner said in a statement. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward.”
The details of Banner’s departure from Cleveland aren’t clear yet.
I don’t think Banner had done a terrible job while in Cleveland. Rebuilding a dysfunctional franchise can be an uphill battle for even the best league executives, especially if ownership isn’t willing to step aside and let the front office work through their plans. The best move that the organization made under Banner was to sell high on running back Trent Richardson, who they sent to Indianapolis in exchange for a first-round pick. The Browns got rid of a guy who wasn’t even a top-15 running back, and turned him into a very high draft pick this year.
The hiring/firing of Rob Chudzinski was very bizarre, but I don’t know how much (if any) say Banner had in that.
That being said, Banner proved during his time in Philadelphia that he can be a difficult figure to work with. Before the 2012 season, there was reportedly a power struggle in the organization between Banner and Andy Reid, with some reports suggesting that Reid threatened to leave the team if he wasn’t given full control over the roster. Perhaps the Browns got a whiff of the negative sides of Banner, and decided it would be best to move on.