Smart and Smarterer

by | March 5, 2009 at 5:19 PM | General, NFL, Philadelphia, Sports

Joe Banner is cleverer than you. He’s cleverer than the entire NFL.

It’s true, just ask him.

In an in-studio appearance with 610 WIP’s Howard Eskin on Wednesday, Banner addressed everything from the departure of Brian Dawkins to his team’s “perceived” lack of spending.

I’ll get to Dawkins in a minute, but first, since cash rules everything around me, let’s talk Bannernomics.

Yesterday, “The Dryer” (Banner’s new nickname, copyright Russakoff Rules) was on full spin.

Joe Front-Load resented the fact that so many writers (ahem, me) keep bringing up the fact that the Eagles are $40 million under the cap and took issue with the people who call the team cheap (not me).

“On a cash basis … in the 10 years that Andy Reid has been head coach of this team, we are the fourth highest — that’s a fact [JACK!] — fourth highest cash spending team in the NFL.”

Joe Air Fluff then compared the Eagles to the Patriots — in the four-year run where the Pats won three Super Bowls, The Dryer claims the two teams spent almost exactly the same amount of money (“you know, within $100 or something.”).

So what you’re saying is: You spent the same amount of money as the Pats … but managed three less Super Bowl rings? Wow, that is amazing. You’re the best, Joe!

Spin me more!

“This year right now, it’s reported that we’re $40 million under the cap. … And that is accurate at the moment. It doesn’t include your draft allocation — we have two first-round picks. And it doesn’t include any bonuses that your players are going to earn that don’t kick in until certain dates. … If you take those things out, that are committed dollars, … we have about $25 million left under the cap.”

My bad, Permanent Press. Only $25 million … what can you do today with $25 million these days? Remember when a loaf of bread used to cost a nickel?

So, Joey Fluff Dry, why aren’t you spending the extra $25 million?

“Our cash expenditure exceeded the cap, and has exceeded the cap on an average whether you want to go the 10 years or going over the 14 years that Jeff has owned the team. We have just been cleverer or smarter or shrewder and managed to both spend the money and have cap room.

“I’m giving you the actual facts. So of the 25 million we have right now, 20 of it is money we pushed forward from last year, which gives us an advantage whether we can find free agents or re-sign our own guys.

“But realize that means there’s only 5 million left that’s actually left on this year’s cap. Now, almost every other team in this league right now is operating on this year’s cap. … If we hadn’t been that manipulative of the cap we have only 5 million left in the cap right now.”

Oh, I get it. So the Eagles and Pats both spent the same amount of money … but youcould have spent $25 million more if you wanted to (you just didn’t want to).

That is awesome!

But wait … because you’re sooo shrewd … you do indeed still have $25 million to burn, right? You, unlike those other incompetent teams, aren’t working off of this year’s cap. You could have taken advantage of your cleveratti and brought in a T.J. Houshmandzadeh or overpaid for a Brian Dawkins — because of your smartitude — and still not be close to the cap.

And yet you chose not to.

That doesn’t sound so clever at all. Turn off the spin for a second.

If you manipulate the cap to free up extra money, but then don’t spend that money, how is your manipulation shrewd at all? Having an opportunity to spend an extra $20-25 million dollars is only an advantage if you actually spend it.

If you don’t spend it, you might as well have not had the extra cap room … you might as well be “dumb” (like those silly Patriots) and use the same cap everyone else is using.

On second thought, this isn’t awesome at all. Who needs a clever guy like The Dryer if being clever doesn’t net the Eagles an on-field advantage?

Isn’t this supposed to be about winning? And as far as winning, your shrewd-appeal translates into no advantage whatsoever and, more notably, 14 years without a trophy.

Weapon-X Hung Out to Dry

Whether calculated or not, the Dryer seemed genuinely stunned about losing Brian Dawkins. He admitted he was the point man on the negotiation and he regretted using Dawkins’ agent as a liaison.

“We made Brian what we thought was a good, fair, strong offer.” …

“I go back and forth in my mind about what we could have said differently or done differently to produce a different outcome. … The one regret that I have, if I could roll back the clock, was that my personal contact to Brian was through his agent. I wish at some point, I’d had an opportunity to speak to Brian directly.”

Wow. That’s truly touching. Banner seems to really recognize how important Brian was to the city and the team. He sounds like he’s legitimately sorrowful that he lost out on an opportunity to bring Dawk back.

Except …

To his own admission, he told Dawkins and his agent that the Eagles’ offer was their best offer. He told Weapon-X he couldn’t do any better. In that context, the regrets feel a bit hollow — if not untruthful.

And Dawkins tells a completely different story.

An angry Dawk told Comcast SportsNet’s Derek Gunn that on at least three occasions Brian’s agent called the Eagles and said: “This is what we’re getting, what do you want to do?”

Gunn said Dawkins told him that the Eagles stance was clear as day: You have our offer, we’re not moving off of it.

“I’ve seen Brian upset, you know, emotional. But this has been taken to a whole new level now,” Gunn said.

Looks like The Dryer is still trying to spin us.

Except, this time, Banner must have forgotten who he’s dealing with. This time, he’s trying to spin the most loyal, trustworthy, stand-up guy in Philly. This time, he wants fans to believe him over Brian Dawkins.

And it looks like this time, Eagles fans are finally unplugging The Dryer.


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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.