It’s hard to say what sort of talent the Eagles might be able to bring in through free agency, given that the team currently is about $43 million over the projected 2021 NFL salary cap. General manager Howie Roseman will have to pare down, then probably look for players who have been disappointed by the market and are willing to take reasonable, prove-it deals.

We can, however, take a more informed look at the players on the roster now who are pending free agents, with an eye toward who might be leaving and who might be returning. Free agency starts March 17.

There is no one on the team’s unrestricted or restricted free agent lists who, from a talent/accomplishment standpoint, absolutely has to be retained from a 4-11-1 team. That’s one of the good things about a rebuild under a new coaching staff — considerations such as, “Yeah, he hasn’t done much but the coaching staff really likes him,” no longer apply. None of these guys is anyone’s pet project. That cap crunch, though, is relevant. Everyone you don’t bring back has to be replaced, somehow, ideally at an equal or lower salary-cap figure. There will be guys coming back whom the fan base might not be totally thrilled about.

Here are some thoughts about how all that might work out:

Unrestricted free agents

Jason Peters, OL: Nope. Not even a discussion, at age 39. Management really didn’t want him back last year, until injuries clouded the picture. He can still be effective when he’s 100% healthy, but as the past several years have shown, he’s 100% healthy for about two games a year. He will have no role on a team that needs to commit to youth. And though he has said he still wants to play, it’ll be pretty surprising if anyone signs him, at any price. There’s not much GMs hate more than paying players who aren’t available to play.

Jalen Mills, S/CB: We don’t know what the new coaching staff thinks, but if new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon does indeed want to play a lot of Cover 2, as has been speculated, Mills could be an effective corner. Or he could stay at safety, last year’s primary position, where he didn’t tackle or anticipate at Malcolm Jenkins’ level, but he did improve as the season developed. And he played a team-high 1,013 defensive snaps. If I had to pick one guy out of this group to keep, Mills would be it. The key here is price. Mills, who turns 27 in April, carried a $4 million cap number last season; if some team out there wants to pay him a lot more than that, the Eagles should pass. Otherwise, he shouldn’t have to change his hair dye color after five years of bright green.

» READ MORE: Why the Eagles’ salary cap situation isn't as bleak as it first appeared to be

Cre’Von LeBlanc, CB: “Strap” is a feisty nickel corner who seems to get hurt a lot. Good find as a waiver pickup in 2018, not a long-term NFL starter. This could go either way. If he stays, it’s probably at the vet minimum.

Hassan Ridgeway, DT: Very good rotational interior D-lineman when healthy. Rarely healthy, as is the case with so many Eagles. He’s played in 14 of a possible 32 games since arriving in a trade from Indianapolis. That background might play in his favor, but management has to be tired of medical drama. Bit of a long shot to return.

Vinny Curry, DE: Vinny was just fine last season in a limited role, as usual, but he’ll be 33 this season. These types of jobs need to go to the kiddies, much more often than has been the case lately.

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB: Bad signing last year. Time to pare down the inventory of undersized, underperforming corners.

Richard Rodgers, TE: This might depend on the draft. With Zach Ertz almost certainly headed for trade or release, there’s a plausible role for Rodgers. He is serviceable, was healthy last season, has good hands, just turned 29. Could his job just as easily go to someone younger? Sure.

Nathan Gerry, LB: The coaching staff that nurtured the four-year project of turning a former Nebraska safety into a starting NFL linebacker is gone, and Gerry might be out of here, as well. Not a starting-quality player; PFF ranked him as the NFL’s 68th-best linebacker, out of 83, in 2020. If the new regime wanted to keep him around on the cheap to back up and play special teams, that would work, but I wouldn’t buy a Gerry jersey on that off-chance.

Duke Riley, LB: The Duke is one of those guys who’s just OK. He’s nice to have around, but you don’t want him as the backbone of your defense. Not really old or young (will turn 27 in August). Played more than half the defensive snaps in 2020, more than he should have. Rather see someone with more upside take his spot, but if they aren’t able to swing that, bringing him back cheap won’t be a terrible thing.

Rudy Ford, S: Good special teams gunner, played 46 defensive snaps in 2020, another guy the now-deposed coaches liked for reasons that weren’t always obvious. The Eagles would bring him back only to compete for a roster spot, not to depend on.

Corey Clement, RB: What happened after the Super Bowl season? Beats me. One promising year out of four doesn’t move the needle, even for a hero from one of the franchise’s greatest moments. But he’d be cheap depth, if needed.

Nate Sudfeld, QB: Hey, there are roster openings at the position. But it’s time for Sud to move along. No value now to all his experience with Doug Pederson and Press Taylor. Really nice, thoughtful guy, but his central role in Tankgate seriously might damage his chances of extending his career. When the argument is that your team tried to lose because it brought you into the game, well, that is not good.

» READ MORE: The Eagles need cap relief, so some Super Bowl heroes have to go | Marcus Hayes

Restricted free agents:

Cam Johnston, P: Really faded down the stretch of his third season, though he is the franchise record-holder in gross and net. The problem is making a tender offer — when you have cap problems, the last place you want to spend money is on a punter. New special teams coaches are coming in, and the Eagles have signed a punter named Arryn Siposs, an Aussie, like Johnston. Siposs was on the Lions’ practice squad last season.

Josh Perkins, TE: Missed 2020 on injured reserve. He’s the kind of guy who had value the past few years because he knew the scheme, could step in and play. New coaching staff, new scheme, don’t see Perkins being here.

Exclusive rights free agents:

Alex Singleton, LB: Obviously you bring him back — one of the few 2020 bright spots. Didn’t become a starter until the sixth game, but led the team in tackles with 120. Exclusive rights status guarantees he’s back if the team wants him. It certainly should.

Boston Scott, RB: He has limitations, but as a depth player, sure, well worth having around. New coach Nick Sirianni might want to look for a more dynamic kickoff returner, though.

Greg Ward, WR: Pending the draft, you just about have to keep him, right? He’s a fifth receiver on a good team. The Eagles aren’t a good team. So, yeah.

» READ MORE: Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is acting more like Jerry Jones, so don’t just blame Howie Roseman | Marcus Hayes