46 million in cap space and have to spend what, 89% when all is said and done?
I really don't see the 10m cap hit affecting us that much... still leaves 36 million for rookies, who are all scaled anyways, and any free agents... as well as signing long term deals, which we all know they can just give a bigger signing bonus and lessen the cap hit for the year if they needed to.
With all the holes we have to fill:
1. Even with resigning Smith, we still need to address cornerback because we are weak at that position, so we'll be investing $10 million in a player who even with him on the roster we have a huge hole
2. A pass rusher opposite Wake
3. A couple of wide receivers, maybe even a tight end
4. An offensive line full of holes
Plus all the holes created by free agents
1. A starting free safety
2. Wide receiver
3. Left (or right) tackle
4. Defensive tackle
You've just reduced the amount of space you have to address this multitude of needs by 25% to sign a player who isn't that good to begin with.
Franchising Paul Soliai made a lot of sense because he WAS (and still is) the run defense. Without Soliai, the run defense suffers considerably.
With Sean Smith, the pass defense already sucks, so does it really suffer that much?
I think they'll tag him because they might feel they can then turn around and trade him or extend him for less than he wants, but it could turn out to be a very wasteful move in an offseason in which we have a ton of needs and are primed to address all of them.
Cap space gets taken up quickly when you start resigning your own free agents and bringing in new ones.
Not to mention, yes we can use a signing bonus to spread out the hit, but contracts can't be backloaded as much as they used to be either.