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The Salary Cap

The league's salary cap is set at the beginning of the off-season and is strongly connected to the league's television revenue.

Front Office Football uses the same salary cap concept as professional football, but simplifies the rules significantly so you don't need to spend hours worrying about details that ultimately make very little difference.

Unlike most sports, the salary cap is a “hard” cap, meaning there are significant penalties for exceeding the cap.

Each player takes up a certain amount of cap room, based on his compensation. The total cap room from your entire roster must fit under the salary cap at all times. Your team will lose draft picks if it exceeds the cap.

For each game during the preseason, your roster may include up to 60 players. All can be active for a game. When the regular season starts, you can have up to 53 players on your roster, not including players on injured reserve, suspended players or players holding out for a better contract. Of those 53, up to 47 may be active for a game.

The requirement for 47 is slightly different than professional football's 46, because that 46 also includes a waiver for a 47th player if the team is carrying a third quarterback. Front Office Football requires three quarterbacks on each roster because there's no practice squad.

The only ways to increase cap room are to release players, trade them or renegotiate their contracts.

A player contract has three elements: a length, a bonus amount and a salary for each season. No contract may exceed five years.

When offering a contract, bonus money is guaranteed and salaries are not guaranteed. Professional football teams today have other ways of paying out guaranteed money, but they all amount to the same thing as delaying a bonus payment. Since dealing with bonus money is a full-time job for general managers, Front Office Football only allows contracts with bonus money paid at the time a contract is signed.

For cap purposes, when a contract is signed, the bonus, if any, is spread out evenly over the course of an entire contract. For example, if a player signs a 3-year, $16 million contract with a $1 million salary in year one, $4 million salary in year two and $5 million salary in year three and $6 million in bonus money, it would count against the cap $3 million in year one, $6 million in year two and $7 million in year three.

When a player is traded or released, the bonus money remains with the original team's cap, as that money has already been paid to the player. However, all remaining bonus money is “accelerated” into the cap for the following year. So if the above player is traded after the first season of his contract, when $4 million remains in bonus money, all $4 million counts under the original team's cap in year two, rather than $2 million in year two and $2 million in year three.

Rookies drafted into the league automatically receive a four-year contract. Compensation is based on draft position.

The league maintains minimum salaries based on a percentage of the salary cap and years of experience in the league. There are seven salary levels - one for first-year players, one for second-year players, one for third-year players, one for fourth-year players, one for years five through seven, one for years eight through ten and one for players in their eleventh season or later.

Since the league doesn't want to discourage teams from signing older players, any player with more than four years of experience signing a contract with a small bonus or no bonus and a minimum salary for his experience level counts under the salary cap only for the minimum salary for fourth-year players.

Players receive their salary after each week of the regular season. Whether their team has a game or a bye, they receive a percentage of their total salary for the year. This is whether they are active or inactive.

When signing a player mid-season, your contract offer is based on what his salary would be if he were on the team for the entire season. Similarly, when you release a player, he is no longer on your payroll. The game calculates salary cap room, however, based on how much “dead cap money” has been spent, bonus money assigned to the season, and the total salary of the contracts on the roster (adjusted by the veteran rule). Dead cap money is bonus money and salary money for players no longer on the roster. The game handles these calculations automatically.

salary_cap.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/05 21:03 by solecismic