The cap is definitely going to be a sticky situation in the coming years because of the size of Vick's contract. It puts much more emphasis on the draft that it does for many other teams. You look at the Colts, who have considerably relied on the draft and undrafted free agency to fill their OL and defensive roster because of the players they have at the skills positions already being set. And it has come to average results. Sure, they have some solid defensive players on that unit, but their inability to bring in top free agents on that side of the ball means young players will have to work on a significant learning curve, unfair to them.
The Falcons won't be in as dire a situation as the Colts, but it won't be as far off as probably a lot of people think. Vick has the biggest contract in league history. Because starting in 2007, Vick's contract will likely be taking up 12-15% if not more of yearly cap space.
It will also put pressure on us in free agency. We can't afford to pay big $$$ for "unproven" guys despite their potential. We will likely have to stick to veterans with short-term deals that we know can fill a niche for the short-term. There will likely be a lot of signings of 2nd & 3rd tier guys for 1-year near minimum deals which we saw happen last off-season and this one.
Not to say its impossible, but for these reasons and that strategy, I think it's going to take some time before the Falcons are a perennial winner team like the Eagles. It was 8 years and on his 3rd head coach before McKay had a Super Bowl ring in Tampa Bay. Hopefully in Atlanta, it will be with his first coach and in half the time.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.