The Redskins appeared to be an unstoppable force. They were loaded with more talent than most teams in history and were coming off a successful 1999 season.
Will the Eagles moves prove to be more successful than the 'Skins moves, or will the long-suffering fanbase at the Linc feel the way we did 12 years ago?
The 2011 version of the Philadelphia Eagles have decided that this is a make-or-break season. They have attacked the free-agent market and signed every big name they can get their hands on. Since the Eagles are deemed one of the front offices that get things right, everyone seems to feel they are well on their way to capturing the first Super Bowl title in the history of the franchise.
I say we all need to hit the brakes and do a little more digging before crowning the dirty birds champions.
The Eagles are looking eerily similar to their division rivals from Washington, who in 2000 did the same thing and tried to purchase a championship.
This formula did not work for the Redskins as they struggled to an 8-8 finish that season. Most observers had crowned the Redskins as a legitimate Super Bowl contender—proclaimed it the dawn of a new dynasty—after their spending spree, and I see the same thing happening again with this version of the Eagles.
When you look deeper into the two teams, you can see even more things that make them very similar.
Both teams won the NFC East with a 10-6 record the season prior to their spending sprees.
The Eagles were ousted in their first playoff game last year when they got beaten down by the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. The Redskins did the Eagles one step better by defeating the Detroit Lions in their first playoff game but botched a last-second field goal attempt and lost their second playoff game in Tampa against the Buccaneers.
After their runs toward the Super Bowl fell short, both organizations decided it was time to buy championships.
Step-by-step, both teams plucked every big name available to add to their rosters. I cannot believe the coincidences in the way both of these teams added the players. They went out and got players that had excess baggage, guys that were expensive toys that were added to positions that were already very strong, and players that had major success on other teams and were coming to the end of their careers.
The Redskins had starting cornerbacks already established in Hall of Famer Darrell Green and future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey but decided to add the flashiest toy in the toy store, "Prime Time" Deion Sanders.
Move ahead 11 years and you will find the Eagles with two Pro Bowl players starting at cornerback in Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but they too found room for the flashiest toy by adding ex-Raider Nnamdi Asomugha.
The quarterback position was of priority for both teams as they both added troubled children to back up their established starters.
The Eagles have Mike Vick but decided it was a good idea to bring in Vince Young, who was a problem in the locker room as well as with the coaching staff in Tennessee. The Redskins had Brad Johnson but chose to obtain backup Jeff George, who coincidentally was a problem in the locker room as well as with the coaching staff.
The George experiment did not work, and neither will the trip down Vince Young Avenue. When you add in that Young has had off-the-field issues that include a suicide scare, emotional breakdowns when dealing with fan criticism, and a scuffle on videotape, he appears to be an even bigger risk than George.
Both teams added established pass rushers in an effort to generate improved pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Skins added all-time sack leader Bruce Smith, and the Eagles have added ex-Titan Jason Babin.
The Redskins picked up running back Adrian Murrell, and the Eagles have acquired running back Ronnie Brown. The Eagles have added a veteran defensive tackle that has recently won a Super Bowl in Cullen Jenkins, while the Skins acquired theirs one season earlier in 1998 with the arrival of Dana Stubblefield.
The moral of the story is that all the talent in the world does not guarantee success.
If you look at the roster of the 2000 Washington Redskins it is hard to understand how they did not win the Super Bowl.
They were a field goal away from the NFC Championship Game in 1999. A year later, after adding talented players and future Hall of Famers, they finished 8-8 and since then have not truly recovered as a franchise.
Many people are now saying the same things about the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
How can they not win the Super Bowl? They were close last year and have now added more talent than anyone else this offseason.
My feelings are that we will be saying the same thing about the Eagles this time next year as we did about the Redskins in 2001: How did they not win the Super Bowl? What went wrong?
Sometimes, instead of trying to win a championship by purchasing it you should just let the team that is already close to winning that championship mature and win it on their own.
Just ask the 2000 Washington Redskins.