If the numbers are correct we're in a decent spot under the cap. Certainly not anywhere near in a position to go after Manning so I've put that to rest in my mind.
If we do go in around 10.5 mil over the cap it won't be hard to manuever under the cap and get in a decent position to add some players.
I'll assume we tender all of our RFA and it costs us the extra 3.5 mil (I'm going to assume O-Gun at 1st rd tender)
That means we need to clear 14 mil to just get our guys tendered and the needs identified. I disagree with that large of a debit against us.
This nets us 16.8 or so million off the cap charges. This allows us to tender our guys and then need only 1.8 mil or so to sign our picks.
It would be very easy to cut the salaries of the following guys and/or re-structure by converting salary to guarantted moneys to make around 10 mil or so more to put towrds FA's.
Dixon (600k base and will be backup if he returns)
Taylor (5.5 million can be easily reduced if need be)
D.Bowens (1.6 million will definitely be reduced to avoid cuts)
J. Williams (1.2 million will be converted some into bonus IMO)
T. Bowens (2.25 mil has already said would reduce significantly)
Chester (1.525 mil some will be converted)
Zgonina (760k some could be cut down)
Thomas (2.845 and roster bonus upcoming can be tinkered)
Seau (2.5 mil will be reduced)
Surtain (5.4 mil will be converted some)
Madison (5.3 mil drastically reduced could be 2.5 mil)
Mare (1.8 mil is not justified although some has been converted already)
These players have combined salaries of 31.28 mil. I feel through pay cuts and conversions it would be fairly easy to come up with about 11-12 million to sign picks and FA's. I'm well aware this will cause some further problems in future years. It can be offset somewhat by convincing players such as Madison and Knight that they will not get more on open market and are better off with a straight cut in pay to stay. T. Bowens and Madison could be cut a combined 3.5-4 million next year alone.
Just some thoughts and an early look at what may be done.