You can create a lot of cap space by locking your young players up that are good and have an upswing to them.
Offer them 6 year contracts, look to see what the bonus they want is for those 6 years. Then you can move the bonus higher, once you do that you can start to adjust the total contract lower. This will make the contracts for less but just with higher bonuses. I wouldnt do this for older players that the contract would exceed their 10th season in league. The only way this could hurt is if you cut the player for some reason or trade them as then you you will take a hit on dead cap space. This could help with cap issues. Then you still should be able to still sign those borderline players for what they want for a contract. This will not work for decreasing the years of contract they want as they are still going to want that same bonus money for say a 3year contract even if you offer them a 2 years.
Hope I explained this well enough