By the end of last season, Westbrook was severely banged up and Donovan was fed up.
So the Eagles front office presented them both with gifts.
For Westbrook, a blocking fullback (Leonard Weaver) to open holes in the strong defensive lines of the NFC East. Tra Thomas was let go, since he was never proficient at run blocking, as was LJ Smith who was never interested in run blocking.
They were replaced by Jason Peters (considered the top LT available) and Brent Celek, who had the Eagles not franchised LJ, would have been on the field a lot more. They also gave Westbrook a young understudy with trustworthy knees to absorb some of the punishment in LeSean McCoy.
For McNabb: a younger (more talented?) group of tackles, with Shawn Andrews moving out to the right spot alongside his brother Stacy.
A fully healthy Kevin Curtis,and though Joe Banner can't claim credit for that one, it's still nice to have. Also a second year Desean Jackson, who is coming of the best year an Eagle rookie receiver has had in the Reid era.
McNabb also benefits from LJ's departure as he has a more sure-handed TE in Celek and the vacancy will allow draftee Ingram to develop more quickly.
The front office also gave Donovan Jeremy Maclin, who can take the burden of special teams off of DJack and chip in on offense to some degree as well.
For a team that was a defensive stop from playing Pittsburgh for the Lombardi trophy, the Eagles did not sit on their hands this offseason. The obvious focus was to grab younger talented players to compliment their veterans.
They also added Ellis Hobbs, Sean Jones and Rashad Baker to their secondary and bring back a defense ranked third overall in the NFL, number one in the NFC.
Why they may not make the flight to Miami:
Because everyone expects them to. Because the pressure of the departure of the most tenured Eagle (Dawkins) might mean the writing is on the wall for anyone with a young understudy waiting in the wings.
The last few years have shown that it’s the team playing the best at the right time that stands on the right end of the confetti shower.