The Eagles’ front office and coaching staff was busy last week scouting and assessing the talent at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Creating a detailed draft board is just one of the many responsibilities for general manager Howie Roseman and Co. His staff will stay busy over the next three months as the Eagles create their 2022 roster, looking to build on a team that finished 9-8 and reached the NFC wild-card round in the playoffs.

Heading into the 2022 season, the Eagles are projected to have around $21.5 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap. The number can fluctuate throughout the offseason based on roster retainment and restructured deals. The team recently created more cap space when it restructured offensive lineman Brandon Brooks’ contract ahead of his retirement.

The Eagles have nine players who will hit the open market when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. March 16. Here are some predictions on the impending free agents:

RB Jordan Howard

2021 salary: $990,000

2022 season-opener age: 27

Returning? Yes

Analysis: Following miserable stints between Miami and the Eagles in 2020, Howard bet on himself and returned to the Birds. Despite initially being placed on the practice squad, he waited patiently for his opportunity. Howard was elevated in Week 8. From there, he revitalized his career. Most times Howard handled the football, it seemed like he would tumble forward and gain a chunk of yardage. The Eagles eventually signed Howard to the active roster and he rewarded them in his limited role with 86 carries for 406 yards (4.7 per rush) and three touchdowns.

TE Jason Croom

2021 salary: $850,000

2022 season-opener age: 28

Returning? No

Analysis: Croom missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL injury he sustained during the preseason. His position group was one of the deepest units — even after the team shipped off Zach Ertz to the Cardinals. Promising prospect Tyree Jackson also sustained a torn ACL in the season finale, which clouded the group’s remaining depth. Rookie Jack Stoll was a serviceable piece, mainly serving as a blocker in run scenarios, while Dallas Goedert starred in the passing game.

DL Hassan Ridgeway

2021 salary: $990,000

2022 season-opener age: 27

Returning? Yes

Analysis: Ridgeway was a back-end rotational piece for the defensive line. He totaled 20 tackles, 5 quarterback hits and 2 sacks. His best asset wound up being his availability. After playing in just 19 games over the past three seasons, Ridgeway played in all 17 regular-season contests. If the Eagles can convince Ridgeway to sign another veteran salary benefit deal or simply keep his number as low as possible, there’s value with the veteran presence and depth he provides.

DE Derek Barnett

2021 salary: $2.8 million

2022 season-opener age: 26

Returning? No

Analysis: Barnett really made around $10 million, but his contract was restructured in an effort to save cap space. All told, the 2017 first-round pick finished with a career-low two sacks. Barnett was often the cause of frustration and headaches for his teammates and the coaching staff. Earlier in the season, coach Nick Sirianni was caught on a TV broadcast, saying “It’s always him,” after Barnett was flagged for one of his seven penalties. Roseman loves his first-round picks, but Barnett’s production and undisciplined play should make this an easy decision for the front office. The expectation here is the Eagles say goodbye to Barnett, while also improving their pass rush, either in the upcoming draft or via free agency.

DE Ryan Kerrigan

2021 salary: $1.36 million

2022 season-opener age: 34

Returning? No

Analysis: Kerrigan, a four-time Pro Bowler with Washington, mustered just three tackles across 330 snaps in his lone season with the Eagles. Farewell.

LB Genard Avery

2021 salary: $920,000

2022 season-opener age: 27

Returning? No

Analysis: Although it was modest production, Avery enjoyed his best season with the Eagles. He finished with 43 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits and 1 sack. He played a hybrid role as a pass rusher/ SAM linebacker in Jonathan Gannon’s defense. T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor are solid pieces to build around, but the Eagles could benefit from an infusion of talent, youth, and explosion. Avery is on the fence here; a lot might depend on his market value.

CB Steven Nelson

2021 salary: $1.36 million

2022 season-opener age: 29

Returning? No

Analysis: Is Zech McPhearson, a fourth-round pick last year, ready to step into a starting cornerback role on the opposite side of Darius Slay? That could be one of the main factors the front office considers when analyzing Nelson’s contract situation. Nelson was a late addition, joining the team on a one-year deal during training camp. His arrival allowed Avonte Maddox to transition back to slot cornerback, where Maddox thrived. Slay possesses the ability to create game-changing plays and turnovers. Nelson was fine in his role, but the Eagles should be looking to upgrade the position by providing Slay and the rest of the secondary with additional help. In Nelson’s case, the veteran might be looking for a multiyear deal.

S Anthony Harris

2021 salary: $1.59 million

2022 season-opener age: 30

Returning? Yes

Analysis: Harris has the most experience playing under Gannon. There’s value in continuity and sustainability, especially in regard to effectively deploying scheme. Gannon is a candidate for a few open head-coaching jobs across the league, but if he returns to the Eagles, he’ll look to build on the foundation he set in 2021. Harris is the younger option between him and McLeod, and he’ll likely cost less than his former University of Virginia teammate in free agency. The Eagles will look to improve their defensive personnel, but Harris might be one of the few pieces who sticks around.

S Rodney McLeod

2021 salary: $1.76 million

2022 season-opener age: 32

Returning? No

Analysis: McLeod faced a tough journey after he tore an ACL at the end of the 2020 season. But he vigorously attacked his rehab and surprisingly showed up ready for training camp. The team opted for patience, having McLeod sit for the first month of the season. But upon his return to the team in Week 4, McLeod instantly stepped back into his starting role at deep safety. He also resumed his role as the team’s vocal leader; McLeod’s veteran leadership, specifically on defense, was even more appreciated following defensive end Brandon Graham’s season-ending Achilles injury. As the oldest player on this list, it’s tough imagining the Eagles bringing McLeod back. He proved he’s still a serviceable NFL safety and could earn more money elsewhere.

Eagles beat reporters EJ Smith and Josh Tolentino are in Mobile, Ala., for the 2022 Senior Bowl, where NFL teams scout top college players ahead of the draft in April. For this special edition of Inquirer LIVE, watch EJ and Josh discuss the Eagles’ top off-season priorities, analyze how the team might use its three first-round picks, and provide observations of this year’s talent at the Senior Bowl.

Registration Link: Inquirer.com/SeniorBowl