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The Pats will need to keep $2 million-$3 million in space for their rookie class, however at this time they only have five selections (first, second, third, seventh, seventh) so they should not have any problems, especially under the new CBA. Let's say that gives them approximately $15 million to play with.
Welker, Vollmer and Talib are the priorities and could take up a significant portion of the Pats' free cap space. Once their fates are determined, the Pats can move on to contingency plans and/or rounding out the roster depth.
If they can't mend the bridge with Welker, they'll have to invest that money into multiple receivers both in free agency and the draft, and hope that Tom Brady finds a connection with one of them. But a significant portion of the free cap space must go to the receiver position one way or another, with only Brandon Lloyd currently under contract for next year.
There will be a little more freedom with Sebastian Vollmer since he's in line for a long-term deal. This will enable the Pats to push the biggest parts of his cap hit out a few seasons after Brady's deal is no longer so restrictive.
Vollmer could get a left-tackle offer from another team should he hit the open market, so the Pats would be wise to move quickly on him.
Aqib Talib is in a similar situation, and given his past his deal would likely be heavily incentive-laden. The Pats won't overpay him, so look for them to try and retain him for around $2 million-$3 million. He seems to be blossoming in New England, but never rule out the power of a substantially richer offer elsewhere.
Luckily there are not many significant immediate holes to fill outside of those three players' positions, so the Patriots should be in good shape next season even if they do go through some roster turnover lower down the depth chart.
Any remaining significant cap space should address the interior of the defensive line, where the depth and talent behind Vince Wilfork is suspect. It doesn't look like they'll have the cap space to make any big free-agency splashes, but as always with the Patriots, never rule anything out.