Feature salarycap

Published on September 7th, 2012 | by Shopmaster


How To Manage Your Salary Cap and Cap Penalties in Madden 13

The Connected Careers Mode in Madden 13 is the most in-depth Madden Online Franchise to date but with that becomes concerns for players and especially for Commissioners.

On my weekly live podcast (Game Changers Radio) commissioners after commissioners called in with concerns about the Salary Cap and people coming in, releasing everyone, incurring cap penalties and then leaving the league.  Leaving that team in total disarray and no way to correct the situation.

Well I’m here to tell you because so many guys have no clue about the Salary Cap and how to manage it, commissioners may be facing the same type of problem with guys who don’t even mean to mess up their team but just don’t know how to manage the cap.  So it’s important for you as a commissioner to redirect your guys to this and other helpful tips elsewhere that give out helpful Salary Cap management advice.

Let’s go over some basic stuff regarding the salary cap and how to manage it in Madden NFL 13.

When you re-sign or negotiate a player’s contract you will be negotiating that players contract, contract years, and bonus.  I think it’s important to know how these things affect your cap, especially if you end up releasing that player or trading him before his contract is up.

Players Contract – This is the total amount that you plan on paying that player all together.

Contract Years – This is the number of years that player is scheduled to make their money on your team.

Bonus – This is guaranteed money that you owe the player and is distributed evenly over the course of the contract years.

The guys over at E-Athlete do a great job of explaining how to look at the salary cap and explain the effects of releasing someone.  Here is one of the examples they give:

The time has come to release Darren Sproles. He is just too old and taking up too much of your salary cap for you to keep him around.

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Sproles was originally signed to a 4 year contract for $12 mil with a $6 mil signing bonus. There are 2 years remaining on the contract. You can see the amount of the remaining contract for each year as well. The only portion you really need to worry about is the signing bonus which was $6 mil. There are 2 out of 4 years remaining which means half of the signing bonus is still owed. The signing bonus is broken down evenly over the length of the contract which means $6 mil divided by 4 years equals $1.5 mil per year. Since there are 2 years left, the total cap penalty will be $1.5 mil times 2 which equals a total of $3 mil.

If you like formulas – Cap Penalty = (Years remaining/Total Contract years) x signing bonus

 Make sure you take a look at their video also.


E-Athlete does a great job explaining it but I want to just point out some bullet points you need to remember:

1. Cap Penalties are divided in 2 years.  So although a person might have 3 years left on their contract, the bonus is going to be split into the first two seasons.

2. Trading does not mean you give the Cap Penalty to someone else.  You have to pay that Bonus you gave the player when you signed him, so his Bonus you owe him is your Cap Penalty.  Example, if you trade a guy and you still owe him 4M in bonuses and he has 4 years left, then you’ll incur a 2M cap penalty in each of the next 2 years.

3.   Don’t sign and release. Be sure of who you pick up. In last years Madden Online Franchise you would look at the transaction log and see people just signing people and then releasing them just to see how they’d look on their team.  You don’t want to do this or you may find yourself in a bunch of cap problems.

4.  Use the E-Athlete Calculator to find out how much Cap Penalty someone is going to go against your Cap.  It’s a great resource.


So there you have it.  I will probably make a video myself explaining the cap, but I think it’s important that your league members know how the Salary Cap affects their team and to use the tips and calculator to their advantage instead of just releasing guys.

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About the Author

Shopmaster is a die-hard hardcore Madden Player. He also serves an EA SPORTS Game Changer that provides the community with help and information regarding Madden.

  • ryan williams

    Is there any way to gain money or lower your penalty

  • bobby

    Is free agency bidding cap room different from your cap room to sign your rookie picks?

  • macual

    I am playing a connected career. But I believe something might be broke. When I go to resign my players it says that I am -1360.86M in cap space. But when I go to trade it says that I have 12.M in cap space for trades and picking up free agents. I can’t resign Clay Mathews??? WTF?? Could someone please explain

  • macual

    To make myself clear. I get different values for cap space on different screens. I understand the cap penalty and everything. But how can I go from 12M in space to sign free agents or make a trade. But when I go to my re-sign free agent screen it says that I am -1360.86M in cap space. I cannot sign my own players. But I am not paying everyone on my team more than 25M each… 53*25M= 1325M!!!! So WTF? Help please

  • HH

    @0acd7992c2d47d719ddbd9d5d3235d46:disqus Try releasing one of your highest overpaid players, this should free up enough Cap Room to re-sign Matthews and then after that you can sign the plater you released for a lower price.

  • Yep

    I have 17.60M cap space… When I go to re sign player, it tells me I have no spending money available to sign that player. It shows in the top right corner of the re sign screen -65.53M cap room. I don’t understand why I can’t resign anyone. Any definite reason behind this?

  • http://twitter.com/teejcore TJ

    Shop, do you know if they have a fix coming for the salary cap glitch? Hoping you have some info as a Game Changer!

    • Shopmaster

      TJ, I haven’t heard anything but I will see if I can get an answer for you after Thanksgiving!

  • boom boom

    do u know if i can get anyone to accept my trades in offline franchise?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jmiller503 Jeremy Miller

      Not sure if I understand your question but the game’s AI is much better when it comes to making trades than in the previous year. Players will be valued by the team you are trading with according to how badly they need a player at that position, When you add a player or pick to the trade block as you scroll through the other teams a little color coded bar graph will show how interested they are in that player, also there is a place where it shows what that team’s 3 biggest needs are, and yes reasonable trades will oftentimes be accepted (bad teams seem to give up their first round picks a little too easily as with Madden 12). You can also just put players up for trade from their roster listing and you will get random offers the following week or so I hear.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jmiller503 Jeremy Miller

        Umm…my bad. Trades are actually pretty difficult if the player you want is not on a trade block…much easier to trade for picks…

  • psteeler

    Players keep rejecting my contract offers. If for example, they’re asking for $9MM over four years, should I be giving them salary that equals that, plus a bonus? I offered total salary of $8MM, with $1.5MM in bonus and got rejected.

  • http://twitter.com/A_Cardy Alex

    they really dropped the ball with salary cap on this one… they just shouldn’t allow you to fuck yourself over… im a college grad and shit shit is confusing

  • http://twitter.com/A_Cardy Alex

    how do they figure “net savings if player is cut if there is a penalty if you cut for example dabrickashaw ferg.”?

    • http://twitter.com/MoreRecentTimes More Recent Times

      The amount of salary you don’t pay minus the bonus you must pay is your net savings.

  • Jake

    Whenever I go to trade for a player, I look at the bonus they have left on their deal and subtract that from their salary each year since their original team will be paying that. But it’s not working on my franchise. Lets say I trade for a player with 5 mil left in bonus with two years left. That means his salary on my team should be 2.5 mil less than what his player card shows. When I make the trade their salary/skills tab on their player card accurately reflects their new salary but when I go look at team salaries the original total is still counting against me.

  • Nick

    But when is the time to cut a player? If I have a player who I know I don’t want on the team next season but want to keep for the length of the current season, when do I cut him to keep him from counting against next year’s cap space? Before the season ends, or during next season’s off-season mode?

  • Winfred

    I have 2 million dollars in my cap room at the start of a new season do i regain cap automatically during the year?

    • http://twitter.com/MoreRecentTimes More Recent Times

      Yes, If you cut guys who have little to no signing bonus remaining. Look for players with high salaries and small bonuses who you can live without. You also have to weigh your options. It may be worth it to pay a million in penalties to free up three million. The Eagles paid Nnamdi about $4M to go away and avoid passing him about $15-16M. That’s a net of $12M they made available for free agents in 2014.

  • http://twitter.com/studs0n STuDS0N

    Hey Shopmaster, just finding this post. Thanks for the shout out to e-Athlete – hopefully the calculator helped people in your community with their CCM lg’s this year.

  • ED

    Never knew anything about the cap penelty when trading. Now i have over MINUS 37 Million to spend. What should i do?

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