The Eagles have acted exactly as they would have if they'd gone 13-3 and made a deep playoff run last season. Lurie stuck with Reid and Reid stuck with Juan Castillo as his defensive coordinator. The players who staggered to that 4-8 record before a meaningless season-ending win streak were not dumped and replaced. They were rewarded with job security and contract extensions.
That's not to say any particular deal was terrible. Evan Mathis earned that left guard spot, DeSean Jackson was overdue for a deal, and it's just as well the Eagles avoided animosity with LeSean McCoy. But the Eagles front office got a lot of praise nationally for the signings, as if handing out money was some innovative management technique.
As always, the contracts will be judged over time. If Jackson doesn't return to pre-pout form or if McCoy feels shortchanged in two or three years, the spree of 2012 may look a little different. It might look, in fact, like business as usual for the Eagles.
But not everyone survived the Year That Never Happened.
Asante Samuel, who actually contributed to victories in his time here, had to go. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who showed no sign of being invested in this team or this town, were instated as the starting cornerbacks.
And then, of course, there was the surprise departure of longtime club president Joe Banner. Even that can be explained by this deliberate mass delusion. Banner's public comments that apparently displeased Reid had one thing in common. They suggested that at some point, even Andy Reid might be judged on the same criteria as every other coach and manager in professional sports. These comments were uniformly accompanied by Banner's assertion that he fully believed Reid would deliver a championship, but that wasn't enough. Anything short of complete acceptance of the delusion could not be tolerated. So farewell, Asante and Joe.
Reid not only survived his worst season, part of a three-year decline, he actually increased his power within the organization. That's quite a trick, and we'll probably never fully know exactly how it all came down. It is worth noting that Bob LaMonte - the agent who represents both Reid and, significantly, Howie Roseman - has a long history of successfully orchestrating from behind the scenes. It was LaMonte who engineered Jon Gruden's trade from Oakland to Tampa Bay and the 2002 Reid promotion that required the departure of GM Tom Modrak.
He's a good agent and, quite possibly, a hypnotist. Come to think of it, Lurie appeared to be in a trance last week.
With all this, it came as no surprise when Vick complained in an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic about his spot at No. 70 in a recent NFL Network ranking of players. After practice the other day, he really seemed surprised that he'd dropped from the top 20. Why? Because 2011, with all those interceptions and fumbles and red zone miscues, never happened, that's why.
There are two ways to look at this. One is with serious concern, since the Eagles went into 2011 convinced success was their birthright. They just overlooked the part where they actually played good football, at least until it was too late.
But the other view is a bit more positive. Sometimes, the first step in being great is to believe in yourself. The atmosphere around the Eagles during their practices this month really was upbeat. This is a team with a lot of talent, which is, after all, why 2011 was such a shock.
Reid has had many more good years than bad. He has a fresh opportunity to restore this franchise to the level it attained from 2000 to 2004. If convincing everyone in the building that 2011 was just a bad dream helps, then it's worth a shot.
If it doesn't work, then Reid will be in trouble anyway.
If it does and this is finally the year the Eagles win it all, well, that will be just fantastic.
Contact Phil Sheridan at 215-854-2844, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @Sheridanscribe. Read his blog, "Philabuster," at philly.com/philabuster and his columns at philly.com/philsheridan