From a standpoint of it actually making the difference, Seattle acquiring Harvin is completely invalid. There is no debate that Harvin makes them better, but he was not anything close to the reason they won it all.
On the Broncos...you're comparing an all time great QB as a free agent pick up, to offensive linemen like Monroe/Albert, and Mike Wallace. I don't think anyone would have an issue paying Peyton Manning in free agency, however mega contracts from players like Wallace, and a possible $50m tackle on the same team doesn't appeal to me from a cap standpoint.
I know we are good money wise now, but what happens when players like Tannehill, Vernon, and other homegrown players demand a pay day after their rookie deals on top of Wallace and a possible contract with albert? A team that we can be compared to from a free agency stand point is the Bucs. We have been working the free agent market very similarly to them, and have nothing to show for it yet. I'm not as down on the outcome of the 2014 Dolphins like most are, but this team seriously needs to start hitting on OTs in the draft. It's been a disaster.
You said the good teams don't spend big in free agency. That's the point I am arguing. You're simply wrong on this comment. Whether Harvin had little impact or Peyton Manning is an all-time great is irrelevant.
The good teams use all of the tools at their disposal to build and maintain their teams and many times that involves paying big bucks to proven commodities in free agency.
This team needs at least FOUR offensive linemen to have a successful running game and keep our QB upright.
You're not going to find FOUR offensive linemen by simply drafting or by getting lucky with a cheap free agents. At least one or two of those offensive linemen is going to cost big bucks and be the main building block of the offensive line. Your best best is to throw that money at left tackle and get a proven player.
All of the other needs on this team are not as pressing, can be addressed via the draft or in the 2nd wave of free agency.
At least one offensive line position is going to demand big bucks if this team is going to improve.
As for Wallace's impact on our cap situation, his cap number this season is $17 milion and we're still $30+ million under the cap. Guess what? His cap number goes down after 2014.
The Dolphins strategically decided to take the largest chunk of cap hit this year knowing they would roll over a good amount and have a good amount under the cap.