In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Wozzy, I think you'd have to be crazy not to recognize that Belichick has done an extraordinary job keeping the team competitive from year to year and that a large part of that success has to do with careful cap management. At the same time, I think that a lot of the team's success every year comes from excellent coaching, a great QB, and schemes that allow even average talent to flourish (BB is absolutely brilliant at assembling a group of guys who complement each other and then modifying his schemes to get the most out of them).
Still, the failures in the playoffs (and they've been significant failures--blown out by the Ravens in 2009, bad against the Jets in 2010, a disappointing Super Bowl loss against a vulnerable Giants team in 2011, and a pathetic performance against the Ravens in the AFC Championship this past year), all have pointed to weaknesses in talent and/or lack of depth. We don't have a lot of true impact players and when one gets hurt (Moss, Welker, Gronk, Mankins, etc.) we often can't recover. The defense, as well, has just not been great, so we're stuck winning with offense. These aren't coaching problems. They are, in part, execution problems. But mostly they are talent problems. Belichick's approach has kept the team highly competitive, but it maybe has not given them quite enough guns to get over the top against good teams in big games. Signing one or two more top FAs and not trading down all the time to pick JAGs may help. It's quite possible that flirting a little closer with salary cap hell could pay off once in a while. Rusty keeps telling us that Pittsburgh is headed down because of salary cap issues. Maybe. But they've also won two championships while the Pats have been managing cap. There's a legitimate debate, here, about which approach is really better. Maybe a little salary cap hell once in a while pays off? Maybe picking Clay Matthews rather than Butler and Tate helps too?
True and here's the thing, I don't think anyone is asking this team to go all in every year, but I do think they should of went a little bit more aggressive last year or the year before. We have a very small window left to win another championship, we always seemed to be preparing for tomorrow, rather than right now (in both terms of drafts and free agent signings), why? I would of cared less if we were sitting here during this free agent period having to cut old and washed up talent like these teams in "salary cap hell" if we had won another Championship because we decided to go and sign a big name defender. I could of lived with that - what I'm having a hard time with is knowing that we shopped at Walmart - when the teams that won the recent Super Bowls didn't.