It seems to me that releasing Manning and picking up Luck (with relatively modest rookie pay) will give us some cap space to be a little active in free agency. I don't profess to understand the amount of dead money for Manning's contract that would go against the 2012 salary cap. If someone wants to enlighten me on that subject, I'd like to hear it. But, it seems like we can now afford to be a little active in the FA market, in addition to resigning Garcon, Tamme, and Mathis. The guys I'd go after would be:
1) Sione Pouha, NT, NYJ. It's no secret that we need a 3-4 NT, and here's a good player nearing the end of his useful life. He's experienced at the position, and his addition would allow us to select one of the developmental NTs that should be selected in the 4th or 5th round. I'm not too high on the NT class this year, but someone like Akiem Hicks of Regina would be a good back-up who could develop into a great starter in a year or two.
3) Jason Allen, CB, Houston. Maybe our biggest need is at CB. Allen played really well last year, but his 29 years of age will prevent him from being too expensive to sign.
4) John Carlson, TE, Seattle. He was out all 2011 with a shoulder injury, but he's a complete TE when healthy. He could be a really nice target for Luck, and I'm not sure how quickly we can get around to drafting a TE in 2012...