This is a doozy right here.
Reuben Frank of CSN Philly reports that the fracture relationship between Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Cleveland Browns top executive Joe Banner has reached a critical point.
According to the report, and it is well worth a read, Lurie has accused Banner of making off-the-record remarks to a national writer that trash Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. Banner, through the Browns, has of course denied being party to any such action.
“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 completely, because that’s not right,” Lurie said, according to the report. “And, you know, if there are league sources that are really based in Cleveland, that’s not right. We see through it all.”
What was the report that got everyone so fired up? Earlier this week, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports quoted an anonymous source saying Roseman was “drunk with power” and “woefully out of his depth” as the Eagles went on a long and curious coaching search that eventually netted them Oregon’s Chip Kelly.
Roseman, of course, won more power in Philadelphia when he bested Banner in a power struggle. Banner says he’s had nothing to do with it, releasing a statement through the Browns public relations department.
“It is always difficult to comment on a quote that may or may not be accurate or in context,” Banner said in the statement. “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.
“I had absolutely no conversation with Jason La Canfora. Having demonstrated my character over the last 44 years to Jeffrey and the last 14 to Howie, it is beyond disappointing that they would suggest such a thing. As tempting as it is to go further, other than defending myself, I will continue to take the high road on all such matters as I have since the day I left the Eagles.”
Wow. There is plenty more packed in the report.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune