Joe Banner had a love-hate relationship with fans during his tenure as Eagles president. He is most notably known for refusing to pay, and ultimately parting ways with legendary safety Brian Dawkins. When it comes to Carson Wentz’s new contract, Banner is a huge supporter.
Banner, an active and engaging Twitter user, has been cueing up commentary ever since Wentz’s deal was announced. On Friday, he appeared on “The Rich Eisen Show” to make his opinions known to everyone. Banner called the four-year extension a “great deal” and added that he would take the “risk-reward any day” on Wentz’s injury history.
Not exactly breaking news there. It was what Banner said later interview that sent shockwaves through the NFC East when he implied that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t “even close to Wentz” on a talent level. Prescott remains locked in negotiations as he looks for a similar deal to the one Wentz got, but the two sides are “not close” to a contract extension.
“Prescott is a good, solid quarterback, but he’s not even close to Wentz,” Banner told Inquirer.com. “Let’s say [Prescott] went out and got $30 million [a year] from the Cowboys, which is totally reasonable when you consider that [the 49ers’ Jimmy) Garoppolo got $27.5 million. If Prescott got $32 million and I’m Carson and his agent, I’m not taking $32 million. So Prescott’s deal really could’ve pushed them up.”
Banner spent 17 years in the Eagles’ front office and quickly gained a reputation as a salary cap wizard for the way he restructured existing contracts and freed up extra money to sign free agents. He transitioned from team president to strategic adviser in 2012 before being replaced by Don Smolenski after a reported power struggle with then-coach Andy Reid. Banner’s ouster paved the way for Howie Roseman to take over as general manager.
Meanwhile, Banner continues to offer sizzling hot takes whenever asked. In addition to saying Wentz was superior to Prescott, he stoked the flames further by offering that Wentz was better than Jared Goff. The Los Angeles Rams quarterback is also seeking an extension.
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“If Goff had gone first, I think he would’ve gotten more than $32 million because he hasn’t been injured,” Banner told Inquier.com. “I think Wentz is better than Goff, but the health factor would’ve helped him. The way it typically works is the guy that does the newest deal gets the most money. So they would’ve been trying to beat Goff. That’s why going first made sense.”
While the former Eagles president doesn’t have any say in team affairs any longer, it’s clear he retains a nostalgic loyalty to his old friend Jeffrey Lurie’s club. He seemed to love everything about the Wentz contract and encouraged Eagles fans they should, too.
“If you’re rooting for the Eagles, you should be very, very happy,” Banner told Rich Eisen.