Barry Cofield is familiar with the paradox, feeling out of place yet familiar.
Just as Pro Bowlers DeSean Jackson and Jason Hatcher have recently defected, Cofield left an NFC East rival to sign with the Washington Redskins. The nose tackle spent the first five years of his NFL career with the New York Giants.
He said signing a wide receiver who played six seasons with Philadelphia and a defensive lineman who played eight seasons with Dallas strengthens the Redskins while weakening opponents they'll see twice a year.
"That's almost a double-whammy on that part," Cofield said.
Another benefit is a preexisting distaste for divisional opponents.
"Having that hatred (is important)," Cofield said. "My feelings versus the Cowboys and the Eagles have been built over years. DeSean has feelings within this division that are strong I'm sure, just from playing these teams twice a year, that you can't just buy. You can't replicate it."
On top of the emotional factor, Cofield said Jackson and Hatcher will contribute valuable intel.
Jackson observed Chip Kelly implementing a quick-trigger spread offense that ran 77 plays for 443 total yards against Washington in Week 1 of the 2013 season. Jackson averaged 72 yards receiving per game against NFC East opponents in 2013.
Hatcher was a critical component of an attacking 3-4 front in Dallas, and Cofield said his new linemate will add that component to Washington's scheme. Hatcher is also reunited with another former Cowboy, Stephen Bowen, in his position group.
Cofield said although his new teammates can't provide entire game plans from their previous destinations, they do possess detailed perspective on personnel and philosophy.
"Especially within those position groups I think it matters," Cofield said. "I think I was able to provide a lot of insight about ... my former teammates, my former defensive linemen, my former offensive linemen that I played against every week.
"Hatch will bring that, too. Hopefully DeSean will bring that to our receiving group and bring information about the Philadelphia DBs and their offense."
When Cofield squares off against New York – a place he said he departed amicably – he said the games feel like a sibling rivalry.
"There's also just that chip that you carry on your shoulder playing against your old team," he said.
"It's not necessarily that you left in a bad situation. It's just - like I've always said, it's like playing against your brother in the back yard. You love him, but you want to beat him worse than anybody for those bragging rights."