FOXBORO -- Joe Banner, a longtime Philadelphia Eagles executive now working in media, suggested Tuesday the Patriots got “fooled” by Philly in the deal for Eric Rowe.
spoke on ESPN about holding a player until Tuesday to trade & fooling a team into thinking u weren't cutting him. Eagles just did it to Pats— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) September 6, 2016
The Patriots sent a conditional draft pick in 2018 to the Eagles in exchange for Rowe, the 47th overall pick in 2015.
The pick is a fourth that can become a third based on Rowe’s playing time, according to Ian Rapoport.
Banner alleges that Rowe was about to be released but that the Eagles keeping him on their 53-man roster fooled the Patriots into coughing something up.
Three observations on that.
-- If, indeed, the Eagles were going to release Rowe, they had to know how crappy that would play in the media: Giving up on a second-round pick and getting nothing in return, even if the release could be framed as a swing-and-a-miss by former Eagles coach Chip Kelly.
-- I heard on Saturday that Kline (who was originally part of the deal) was going to be released by New England so it was a surprise to me that he made their 53.
-- ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that the Patriots and Eagles were close to working out this deal last week but weren’t able to consummate it until now. So the likeliest scenario is that both Kline and Rowe were kept on the roster merely to keep the trade alive until the conditional future pick could be decided.
If one would like to allege that a conditional fourth-rounder and an undrafted lineman (who is a useful player) in exchange for a 23-year-old second-rounder means New England got hustled, have at it. But the “fooling” is a misreading of the situation
Why would Banner have a particular hair across his posterior for the Patriots?
Banner – who I got into it with exactly a year ago about some Deflategate-related stuff – is a Massachusetts native who seems to regularly find himself in these Machiavellian power struggles.
A power struggle in Philly ended Banner’s time there. He became part of the Cleveland Browns ownership group along with Jimmy Haslam and became their CEO. There, Banner and GM Mike Lombardi became embroiled in a whole new power struggle.
Lombardi, who knows how to cloak-and-dagger with the best of them, is a longtime friend and advisor to Bill Belichick and wound up back with the Patriots as an advisor after Lombardi and Banner ran their leadership boat aground under Haslam.