SBD/August 31, 2012/Franchises

Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie Stresses Team Will Not Suffer With His Impending Divorce

Lurie says a decision on Reid's contract after the season is "all mine"
In Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie's annual state-of-the-team address on Thursday, he spent time "assuring fans he would retain control of the team in the wake of his impending divorce," according to Les Bowen of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. When Jeffrey and Christina Lurie announced they were divorcing July 4, they said in a statement that "there would be no effect on the Eagles." Since then, the NFL Network reported that the two "have worked out a settlement that will leave Jeffrey Lurie with total control." Lurie on Thursday said the report was "very accurate." Lurie: "There is no change whatsoever in the operation of the Eagles (or) the ownership of the Eagles. I've structured this franchise around having complete control (including) 100 percent voting and total, final decision-making. That continues. I've always had a couple limited partners that were nonvoting and not involved in decisions, football decisions particularly. That continues. Christina will also be a limited partner, as she has been, just like the other limited partners. That doesn't change." Lurie on Thursday also "made it clear" there will be no contract extension for coach Andy Reid "until the season is over." However, Lurie "kept talking about 'substantial improvement' over 2011's 8-8, no-playoffs season." Bowen writes it was "interesting that Lurie was willing to reinforce the perception that the clock is loudly ticking on Reid, instead of just dancing around the topic." The sense "seemed to be that Lurie really is exasperated not to have won the Super Bowl by now, and really is not going to wait forever." Lurie said, "It's a big emptiness because I feel like we've accomplished everything else. We've been in a huge percentage of the championship games, won so many division titles, came so close in so many ways. ... It's kind of the one remaining situation, one remaining goal" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/31).

MAN IN CHARGE: In Philadelphia, Jeff McLane in a front-page piece writes it has "been a year of change for Lurie and the Eagles," as in addition to Lurie's divorce, Eagles President Joe Banner, "Lurie's longtime friend, stepped down." Lurie said that Banner is "still a senior adviser to the team." But McLane notes Banner is "expected to become president of the Browns" once Jimmy Haslam III's purchase of the team is approved. Meanwhile, Christina Lurie has "remained visible at Eagles games and functions this preseason" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/31). Also in Philadelphia, Bob Ford writes under the header, "Lurie Asserts That He Controls The Eagles." Lurie "lost none of his organizational leverage" when his divorce was finalized, nor any of his "ownership compass" when the team parted ways with Banner. Lurie "empathizes with what Reid has been going through in his own personal life." Lurie said of Reid's future with the team, "It's always been my decision. I'm a good listener, and I surround myself with good people, but this is a very, very subjective decision, and I've always been the one to make it. Whether (it is) hiring, changing, whatever, all those are mine" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/31).
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