Philadelphia Eagles 2022 Offseason Preview: Pending free agents, team needs, draft picks, and more

The Philadelphia Eagles have a slew of draft picks to address their team needs, which puts less stress on retaining pending free agents.

The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the NFL with a surprising playoff push in 2021, despite looking to be firmly in the rebuilding camp just one season ago. For the foreseeable future, Jalen Hurts appears to be a cheap option at QB, and the Eagles aren’t short on picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Eagles also aren’t struggling with a mass exodus of pending free agents, and their team needs aren’t so vast that they couldn’t address them in one offseason.

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Philadelphia Eagles 2022 Offseason Preview

Whether we as media or fans believe in Hurts has no bearing on how Howie Roseman, Nick Sirianni, and the Eagles’ players feel about him. By all accounts, he is beloved by the lot and has their confidence going forward.

We’ve seen Roseman play the free agency and draft games like a power hitter with a 3-0 count time after time. He swings for the fences with the likes of Rams general manager Les Snead and, to a lesser extent, Saints GM Mickey Loomis. We even saw the NFL’s version of a “dream team” with the Eagles in 2011.

The Eagles have $13.6 million in projected cap space

Source: Spotrac (as of Jan. 16) 

Although Philadelphia doesn’t possess a pile of cash, they don’t have to look too far to find some hidden under the bed. If they extend Darius Slay and cut a few solid but redundant offensive linemen, they’d have north of $30 million in cap space to improve their roster in 2022.

Slay, Brandon Brooks, Javon Hargrave, Lane Johnson, and Fletcher Cox are the big contracts on the books for Philadelphia. But none amount to 10% of the overall salary cap. However, Slay’s contract tops $20 million in 2022, barring an extension.

Eagles’ 2022 pending free agents

Jason Kelce is the only big name on offense, but with Landon Dickerson in the fold, Kelce could opt to take his beard to the beach for a well-earned retirement. The only problem is he’s still playing at a high level when healthy and might not be ready to hang up his cleats yet.

The Eagles aren’t short on pending 2022 free agents on the other side of the ball. Rodney McLeod, Anthony Harris, Derek Barnett, Steven Nelson, Alex Singleton, and Genard Avery are all without a contract heading into 2022. That would leave quite a few gaps on the defensive side of the ball, which is where we can start to look for team needs.

Eagles’ team needs

With the offense pretty steady heading into 2021, we can look almost squarely at the defensive side of the ball regarding team needs for the Eagles.

Philadelphia needs to revamp their pass defense, both on the back end and at the second level. But cornerback opposite of Slay is another need for this team. Unfortunately, they still need another significant investment at wide receiver to complement DeVonta Smith.

Eagles’ top five needs in the 2022 NFL offseason

  • Safety
  • Cornerback
  • Linebacker
  • Wide receiver
  • Defensive end

Eagles’ 2022 NFL Draft picks

The Eagles played the 2022 NFL Draft like any of us would have in Madden. They loaded up on first-round picks! They let Miami give them a 2022 first so the Dolphins could move up to draft Jaylen Waddle at No. 6 overall in 2021. Then, in a stroke of absolute genius, Roseman put terms on the Carson Wentz trade that landed them another first-round pick.

So, Philadelphia now has three picks inside the top 32 and five selections inside the top 100. If they simply draft good football players, they should have no choice but to improve their football team.

Philadelphia might not make all 11 picks in the upcoming draft, but they’ll have enough ammunition to do some severe damage. Here’s how the Eagles’ 2022 NFL Draft picks currently stand according to the draft order:

  • Round 1 (Picks 15 — from MIA, 16 — from IND, & 19)
  • Round 2 (Pick 19)
  • Round 3 (Pick 19)
  • Round 4 (Pick 19)
  • Round 5 (Pick 11 — from WAS, 19, & 23 — ARI)
  • Round 6 x 2 (Pick 15 — from IND & 28 — TB)

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch.

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