I just shake my head at posts that suggest we should spend every nickle of cap on one or two talented FAs. It is wrong on 2 counts.
(1) You never want to spend up all your cap or you have no flexibility to respond to injuries, under-performance, etc. as the year progresses. Think Koppen.
(2) You want to sign FAs into the team weaknesses - especially in positions key to your scheme - because you get a lot more for your money upgrading from bad to great rather than good to great. In the case of the Peyton signing, the step up was huge thereby justifying the dollars spent. In the case of our wides or slots the step up would be significantly less and therefore not make as much sense.
It is always a balancing act of FAs, the draft, player development, etc. to ensure (a) your team is good enough and has enough depth everywhere and (b) is great where it needs to be to win it all while (c) retaining some flexibility. NE is great at it and early returns suggest the new Bronco regime has great promise as well. It is organizations that do this well that are consistently in the SB mix.