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Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner leaves position

Joe Banner, Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner is leaving his role with the team. (NFL Photos/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner will step aside from his position and be replaced by chief operating officer Don Smolenski, the team announced Thursday.

Banner will become an adviser to Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie. He had been team president for 18 years.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Banner chose to leave at least partly because he wants to become a part owner of a sports team. The paper also reports the move has been greeted with mixed reaction.

The paper quoted Angelo Cataldi, a local sports radio host, who called into his show to discuss the news even though he was in the hospital awaiting surgery. Cataldi said he thought he might be "hallucinating" because the news was so big.

Cataldi said Banner was a "brilliant" businessman, but he thought the decision for Banner and the team to split was a good one.

"Joe Banner alienated just about everybody that dealt with the Philadelphia Eagles," Cataldi said. " ... I thought it was the right thing five years ago, because of the style of the guy."

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