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Brian Westbrook: Joe Banner Was Disrespectful in Negotiations

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

One of the blessings that Jimmy Haslam brought upon the Cleveland Browns just in time for free agency this year was the removal of Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi from the front office. Banner didn't have the greatest reputation for working with coaches and players, and there was speculation that players would stay away from Cleveland for that alone.

Based on what former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook said in an interview with MMQB's Andrew Brandt, it sounds like that speculation had real merit. Westbrook is retired from the NFL, so there's nothing holding him back from speaking his mind at this point:

Retired running back Brian Westbrook had some pointed criticism of former Eagles president Joe Banner, whom he felt disrespected him in negotiations. Westbrook illustrated the raw emotions that players experience in contract talks, and one of my mantras in negotiations: "It’s never ‘business, not personal.’ It’s always personal."

In the article, Brandt also describes how the negotiation process went between Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos a couple of years ago when Manning was a free agent. It's a worthwhile read, so check it out.