The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t the only team interested in hiring Chip Kelly. In fact, the Eagles and Cleveland Browns are among those expected to interview him over the weekend, according to USA TODAY on Jan. 2. Ironically, Cleveland’s CEO used to be as important to Philadelphia as Andy Reid was, and now he may try to take away the Eagles’ top choice for Reid’s replacement.
Joe Banner was the president of the Eagles from 2001 to 2012, but left right before Reid’s disastrous final season started. Yet back in the day, Reid and Banner were the architects of Philadelphia’s glory days, although Banner left months before Reid did.
After briefly becoming owner Jeffrey Lurie’s advisor in summer 2012, Banner became part of the new ownership group of the Browns. Now he serves as Cleveland’s CEO and will be integral in the search for the Browns’ new coach -- who would ironically replace former Reid assistant Pat Shurmer.
It appears that the Browns will start out by interviewing Kelly this weekend, just like the Eagles will. According to USA TODAY, Philadelphia, Cleveland and the Buffalo Bills will speak to Kelly right after he coaches the Oregon Ducks in the Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl.
Yet the Eagles and Browns are likely to be the leading candidates for his services, at least in this group. In that case, it would be partly up to Banner to outfox and outbid the team that once chose Reid over him.
Whether Banner voluntarily stepped down as Eagles president or not, he got out just before the bottom fell on Reid. It’s unlikely that Philadelphia would have done much better if he stayed, since most of the moves that doomed the Eagles in the last few years were under his watch too.
His window of opportunity ran out just like Reid’s did, although Reid’s downfall was much more public and humiliating. But it may be a form of karmic payback to the Eagles if Banner can beat them out for Kelly.
Reid and Banner turned Philadelphia into a powerhouse, yet the franchise suffered for keeping them around too long. However, Banner was the first domino to fall, although Reid perhaps should have been forced out first. Yet can Banner pay the Eagles back by snatching up their preferred replacement for Reid?