This is how I see things laying out.
Welker, Talib, and Vollmer, Edelman are all important FA's this coming season
Spikes I believe will be a FA the season after.
McCourty, Solder Ridley and Brady I believe after.
I think McCourty and Spikes are the "MUSTS". Brady isn't going to be around forever, need to lock up the core defensive players so that we can have a defense help with whoever the next young QB is. Establish a strong linebacking corp (Spikes, Hightower, Mayo), solid safety (McCourty) and other components and we may have a defense that can carry a good young QB like we did in the early 2000's.
Edelman I think should be available via a a short and cheap. Injury prone receiver who hasn't had eye popping numbers. That being said, wouldn't surprise me if someone like the Dolphins try to pick him from our team and overpay.
Talib and Vollmer are questionable. Talib has been a huge difference since coming in. However, he is a talented cb coming off his rookie deal. I'd be surprised if he isn't looking for a huge deal. Considering how shaky the cb position is around the league, wouldn't surprise me if he demands a Brandon Carr type contract (5 years 50 mil, 25 guaranteed). My personal opinion, franchise Talib for 2013 and hope Dennard can develop into your number 1.
Vollmer is questionable because he's a top 3 RT with an injury history. I have a feeling this will be a case of a player who you shouldn't give a big contract too, but someone will overpay for him. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Ridley, Solder and Brady can be a story for another day.
To me, if you're going to resign Welker, you're like going to have to front load the deal. That being said, Brady's cap hit will be larger in 2013 and 2014 because he took a cut this season. Don't see how you can afford Talib should that be the case.
As much as most of us want Wes, I just can't see how the Patriots can make it work. Can you name 5 MLB's better and as young as Spikes? Probably not. He's probably going to get a deal somewhere slightly south of Bowman (5 years 45 mil, 25 guaranteed). Same with McCourty, he is growing into the position. How many FS can you say are significantly better? He's going to get paid.
Only way I can see Welker staying is if he takes a discounted 2 year deal. I'm not sure if he would do it. And if he did, it might come at the cost of Talib.
From what I saw on ESPN on July 12th, Pats had 10 million in cap space. In 2013, Brady's cap hit rises from 8 to about 18. Don't know what the other numbers are, but I don't think it bolds well for Welker. Sucks to think that Welker may go, but these are the type of decisions you have to make to sustain a successful franchise