It began in 2014, when Chip Kelly decided he could no longer stomach the presence of DeSean Jackson – especially at a $10 million price tag – and handsomely rewarded his despicable opposite, Riley Cooper.
It continued last year when Kelly cut diminished veterans Todd Herremans, Trent Cole and Cary Williams, traded frontline talents Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy and failed to re-sign franchise receiver Jeremy Maclin over a few dollars. It culminated with the spiteful release of Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, who then won a Super Bowl with Denver.
Chip Kelly unseated Howie Roseman as Eagles general manager because Kelly sought to create a culture, and he did: A culture of fear, uncertainty, worthlessness, in which everyone was expendable.
With Kelly fired, Roseman, re-ascended, is doing everything he can to eradicate that culture. It culminated Tuesday with the 2-year, $36 million deal the team gave quarterback Sam Bradford.
Bradford's deal could be a false crescendo.
The crucial Fletcher Cox pact might crystallize any time between now and training camp.
Disregard Bradford's talent and progress in 2015 if you like, but acknowledge, at least, that by December the team was his. Bradford might not be Aaron Rodgers. He might peak somewhere around Alex Smith.
He might not be worth a full $18 million per season. There might have been no other real suitors when free agency effectively starts Monday, and so the Eagles might have been bidding against themselves. They might have saved themselves $3 million per year.
Keeping Bradford is worth $3 million. Call it free agency insurance.
It is remarkable that Roseman has been able to do what he has done, especially now that this piece is snugly fitted. The deal actually means a $500,000 salary-cap savings over Bradford's 2015 hit.
Preserving that money might mean helping the undermanned offensive line or receiving corps.
Bradford, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Malcolm Jenkins, Brent Celek, Vinny Curry – all entered the offseason with their futures in question, either immediately, or a year delayed. No more.
Even the subtler moves shifted the team's plan into better focus. DeMeco Ryans was released, which framed the linebacker position. Jordan Hicks will start in the middle. Connor Barwin will return to the defensive line.
From the hiring of Doug Pederson, with whom they are familiar, to filling Pederson's staff with big-shouldered assistants, to extending a half-dozen high-character leaders: Every move improved stability.
Every move made more possible an extension for Cox, though his deal can wait through the next season.
Given Roseman's preference for permanence, Cox probably won't have to wait.