Nobody spent more money on free agents in 2011 than the Eagles, and nobody got less return on their investment.
A team that expected to compete for the Lombardi Trophy finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. Last year, the Eagles won just four games.
Yet another free-agency signing period will commence on Tuesday afternoon. With Banner long gone, and a new head coach at the helm, what are the Eagles going to be this year?
Are they going to be playas? We'll see. They certainly have the salary-cap space. According to NFL players association calculations, the Eagles have the fifth most cap room in the league. They currently are $33.4 million under the projected $123 million cap.
When they get around to giving Asomugha $4 million to go away, they will be almost $45 million under the cap. Only two teams will have more money to play with - Banner's new team, the Cleveland Browns ($47 million), and the Miami Dolphins ($45.7).
Because the salary-cap number has stayed relatively flat, increasing just $3 million, a lot of teams have struggled to re-sign their top free agents. Fourteen of the league's 32 teams have less than $10 million in cap room.
As a result, this looks to be a very good free-agent class, particularly at some of the Eagles' positions of need, including safety, cornerback, defensive tackle and offensive line.
That said, don't look for a repeat of their I'll-take-one-of-those-and-those-and-those ways of 2011.
That was a unique situation. Because of the 4 1/2-month lockout, you had a condensed free-agency signing period. You also had the biggest and most talented free-agent pool in history.
And you had an Eagles organization that was feeling the pressure of not winning a Super Bowl despite nine playoff appearances in the previous 11 years.
"There was a big focus on relieving the stress and pain of having been so close so many times and not winning it all," Banner said at the time. "We're very focused on getting that knot out of our stomachs."
With last year's 4-12 finish, and the January firing of Andy Reid and the hiring of Chip Kelly, that knot has loosened a bit because no one inside or outside the NovaCare Complex really is expecting the Eagles to make a Super Bowl run next season.
That said, this is the NFL, where rags-to-riches stories hardly are uncommon. You need look no further than the 2012 playoffs, which included a Colts team that had been 2-14 a year earlier and a Vikings team that had been 3-13. So the Eagles can't just sit on their hands.
They need a quarterback, and they won't find that on the free-agent market. But they can start to rebuild a secondary that gave up a league-worst 33 touchdown passes and had just eight interceptions last year.
And they can find a potential nose tackle for the expected switch to a 3-4. And they can find some help for an offensive line that will be getting Jason Peters and Jason Kelce and Todd Herremans back, but still needs to find somebody to play right guard.
Les Bowen reported Thursday that the Eagles have contacted agent Drew Rosenhaus about one of his clients, right tackle Eric Winston, who was released by the Chiefs on Wednesday.
If they were to sign Winston, who gave up just three sacks last season and was ranked as the league's 11th best run-blocking tackle by Pro Football Focus, they could move Herremans, who missed the last eight games last season with a foot injury, back inside to guard.
"It'll be interesting to see what we do in the draft and free agency, see if we try to shore up the other [right-guard] spot or where I'm going to be playing," Herremans said.
Herremans was a tackle in college, but was moved to guard by the Eagles. Seventy-one of his first 76 NFL starts were at guard. But he was moved to right tackle in 2011.
Herremans said he is willing to play inside or outside for Kelly and new offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
"I don't prefer one over the other," he said. "I just want us to have the best line we can have and not have a weak spot.
"I'll play tackle, I'll play guard. It doesn't really matter to me. I'm getting in great shape so I can do either if they ask me to."
The Eagles have to be active in free agency out of necessity. They know they can't adequately address all of their pressing positional needs strictly through the draft.
The fact that the Eagles' needs mesh pretty well with the deepest positions in this free-agency class means there are going to be players out there who can help them.
That doesn't mean they're going to get into bidding wars for the top cornerback and the top safety and top nose tackle and top offensive lineman. They will be discriminating shoppers. But they will be shoppers. They have no choice.
"Free agency is much more about individuals, their productivity, their injury history, their age and their cost than the draft is," said former NFL general manager Bill Polian, who now is an analyst for ESPN. "They're almost diametrically opposed.
"There are clubs, and we were one of them when I was with the Colts, that said if a guy's 27 years of age or above, we're probably not going to go for a long-term deal at big money. But if you feel you're one quality receiver away and the physical exam turns out OK you might do it. Again, that's what makes free agency interesting."
At the moment, the Eagles aren't one anything away. They are probably not as bad as their 4-12 record, but Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman have a lot of work ahead of them.
Polian said the success rate in free agency typically is about the same as it is in the draft. "Right around 50 percent or slightly above that," he said. "The results are mixed, just like they are with every other personnel decision you make.
"The difference between the draft and free agency is that, in free agency, you're looking at the finished product. Those players are not going to get any better than they are now at 26 or 27. They are what they are.
"Don't forget also, that in any free-agency class, and in this one particularly, the best players already are off the market. When we rated the players for ESPN, we had A players and B players and C players. But a good portion of the A players have been signed to long-term contracts in advance of free agency and are off the market now. So you're dealing with the A-minus players that are left."