When asked what he regretted during his tenure as the Eagles president, Joe Banner mentioned the name Brian Dawkins.
"Somebody asked me today what I’d regret when I looked back," he said. "I said some of the players we had here who we truly cherished and valued - I used Brian Dawkins as an example - the way situations were handled allowed people to perceive, and I thought I contributed to this, that we didn’t appreciate and cherish those players as much as we actually did."
Whether it's fair or not, fans will always blame Banner for allowing Dawkins to leave Philadelphia and sign with the Broncos. And listening to Dawkins over the years, it's clear that he blames Banner too.
Speaking to Mike Missanelli of 97.5 The Fanatic, Dawkins answered "Yes" when asked if parting ways with Banner is the best thing for the Eagles as an organization.
"I just think that the way things have been done for so long there, and we did have some success, but the way that some of the guys that are in house had to always scrap, fight and do different things in order to just get a deal, it kind of wears on guys," Dawkins said. "And that was really the philosophy of this team, the way that they did things. I’m not saying that it’s going to change 100 percent going forward. The thing that I would love to see is guys in house be able to be kept. That was one of the things that always kind of frustrated me as a player, that guys who are in house and doing everything they can to improve the team are let go pretty easily, and then you go out and pay big bucks for free agents coming in."
That was clearly an issue last year, but this offseason, the Eagles have rewarded players like Trent Cole, Todd Herremans and DeSean Jackson, rather than making a big splash in free agency.
"When you feel like every guy that you see on your team constantly has to go through the same ringer and have the same conversations and have the same type of dealings that you have, it’s a frustrating thing," Dawkins said.
As for his own dealings with the Eagles, Dawkins said he knew Banner and his family away from the negotiating table, but when it came time to talk contract, Banner "put the shark hat on."
"The thing for me is just it was really a lot of conceding," Dawkins said. "It was always in my opinion the player needed to concede or back down off of his stance on where he wants to be. I don’t know if it was always a 50/50 thing, maybe a 70/30 where the player has to give this much back, or not want this much back, and then the organization says this is not a fair deal.
"I just know that certain situations and certain things could have been handled differently, and there would have been a completely different feeling about doing business in Philadelphia."
Going forward, Dawkins thinks losing Banner will be a good thing for Andy Reid.
"Sometimes when a coach tries to make decisions on what he wants and he has to go through three different people to get that guy, that’s a tough, tough position to be in," Dawkins said "However many of the middle men that you can get out is always a better thing for a coach."