Well Said BLM. And with the way that teams "restructure" contracts constantly, it's silly to get too wrapped up in what's going to happen years down the line. Keeping an eye on next year's number is good sense, but past that there are too many variables. And since super bowl windows dont stay open long, it makes stepping up and trying to sign another impact player a very reasonable move, if you don't have to tear the team apart to achieve it.
Looking at the current roster and cap situation, cutting/trading Alex, Akers, Haralson, Whitner, and Manningham would bring them to about 25 million under the cap. Replacing Akers and Haralson should be very inexpensive, maybe a couple of million total, leaving 23 million to a) re-sign Goldson, b) find a veteran backup QB, c) find a true FS, d) fill a spot on the WR corps, e) re-sign the depth players (Grant, RJF, Gooden, Mcbath)
This assumes that they let Walker, Moss, Soap, Ginn, Davis, Haggans, and Brock test the market, and I don't think any tears would be shed over those guys. Walker or Ginn could be back at reasonable numbers.
So lets assume Grant (1.5), RJF (1.5), Gooden (.75), and McBath (.75) are all back for 4.5 million total, leaving 18.5 million for a) through d). A veteran backup QB should run about 3 million, and Goldson's extension should be flexible enough that they could put a lower number in year 1 if they wanted space. Let's assume he gets a deal around what he made this season (top-5 safety money) which would be 6.5 million in year 1. So we are down to 9 million in space and needing a safety and a WR.
Here is where they can get creative. They can believe in a Safety on the roster, like McBath or Spillman, or find one in the draft, if they want that money to be spent on a big time wideout. Or they can sign a couple of mid level free agents at both spots. Or they can decide that between Jenkins, Williams, and the draft that they can sign a cheaper wideout and spend money on the secondary. Or they can decide to cut Goodwin and/or Rogers to free up more room.
Theres definitely some flexibility in the roster. Personally, the guy I would target that no one seems to talk about is Jairus Byrd. He's probably the best Cover/pass defense safety in the league right now, he'd be a perfect fit with Goldson (allowing him to play the run more), and his cover/ball skills would help negate some of the shaky CB play that goes on. Add in that Safety is a lower-paid spot (but can be hugely impactful), and I think it could be a great value. If he got 5.5 million (1 mil less than Goldson), they'd still have 3+ million to spend on a WR2/3 type even without cutting Goodwin or Rogers.
[ Edited by DarkKnight1680 on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM ]