JANUARY 2014 FORUM OFFSEASON OUTLINE
1. THE APPLICATION PERIOD
a. In order to apply for a team, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
which includes the following information:
i. SWDC username
ii. Cell phone number
iii. List of teams you would be willing to represent, in order of preference
b. Notes: Without a cell phone number, you will be unlikely to receive a team, as users who are unable to be contacted via text message when they are on the clock frequently interrupt the pace of the draft. I will also not be assigning any co-general managers or assistant general managers unless explicitly requested by both parties. Once I have announced general managers, feel free to add co-GMs or assistants.
2. FRANCHISE TAG / RESTRICTED FREE AGENCY TENDERS
a. Before free agency begins, teams may designate their franchise player (if applicable) and extend tenders to their restricted free agents. Designating a franchise player will grant him a one-year contract worth the average of the top five salaries at his position. The franchise tag tender amounts are as follows (rounded to one decimal place):
i. QB: $16.2 million
ii. RB: $9.1 million
iii. WR: $11.6 million
iv. TE: $6.8 million
v. OL: $11.2 million
vi. DT: $9.2 million
vii. DE: $12.6 million
viii. LB: $11.0 million
ix. CB: $11.3 million
x. DB: $8.1 million
xi. K/P: $3.4 million
b. In restricted free agency (to occur simultaneously alongside the process of designating a franchise player), you may offer players one of the four tenders listed below. By tendering a player, you are indicating which level of compensation you would receive by choosing not to match offers from other teams; however, higher tenders also cost more money. The restricted free agency tender amounts are as follows:
i. First-round tender: $2.9 million
ii. Second-round tender: $2.0 million
iii. Original-round tender: $1.3 million
iv. Right of first refusal tender: $1.3 million
3. SALARY CAP MANAGEMENT / RELEASING PLAYERS
a. The salary cap will be set at $126.4 million. Teams picking in the top five must allocate $7.5 million to cover their draft picks, teams picking six through ten must allocate $6.5 million to cover their draft picks, teams picking eleven through twenty must allocate $5.5 million to cover their draft picks, teams in the remainder of the first round must allocate $4.5 million to cover their draft picks, and teams picking outside of the first round must allocate $3.5 million to cover their draft picks. This includes every draft pick a team makes over the course of the draft. The current cap space for each team is listed at the bottom of this thread; note that I have not removed the mandatory allocations listed above, so plan on saving the appropriate amount of money rather than spending to the salary cap during free agency.
b. Regarding available cap space and releases: we will be using www.overthecap.com
for all information regarding player contracts, including the salary cap totals of each team and including the amount which teams can save by releasing a player. Contract restructures will not be allowed, but some provisions have been put in place to help teams in cap trouble; these are outlined below.
c. Once all thirty-two teams have been assigned, one day will be allowed for franchise tag designations and restricted free agency tenders, with the following day scheduled for any releases. Please email these releases to me via the email used for all forum mock correspondence, including the figures listed under a player’s 2014 “cap savings” on www.overthecap.com
d. Teams which are over the salary cap will not be able to offer any players contracts over the first two waves of free agency; however, along with the rest of the league they will be able to offer one-year, veteran-minimum contracts and undrafted free agent contracts in the third wave to fill out their roster. This is designed to prevent teams which are over the salary cap from being forced to release star players.
e. The opportunity to release players in order to free cap space is available to all teams. Releasing a player will save a team the amount indicated under the “2014 cap savings” heading on www.overthecap.com
. For example, releasing Kevin Kolb would save the Bills $3.1 million. Some players will free more space if released after the first of June; in those cases, please refrain from releasing the player until after the draft (and before the third wave of free agency.)
4. UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENCY WAVES I & II
a. Once teams have had an opportunity to designate franchise players, tender restricted free agents and release players, the free agent period will begin. The first wave of free agency will last for one day, with the second wave of free agency occupying the second day. Please limit first-wave offers to contracts with an average annual value of $4 million or more. Second-wave offers can include offers of contracts with an average annual value of $2 million or more.
b. There will be one additional wave which follows the draft and also includes undrafted free agents; during this third wave, teams will be able to offer players one-year contracts at the veteran minimum which will not count against their salary cap. Undrafted free agents will also not count against the salary cap. Of course, teams with available salary cap room can offer players contracts above the veteran minimum if they so choose; these offers will have a minimum value of $1 million per season.
c. A list of available free agents can be found at the following link:
d. Last year’s unrestricted free agency period worked via a blind-bidding system; this has been replaced with an open bidding system. A section will be created where teams will be able to post their bids. Feel free to increase your bids if someone posts a higher bid. However, please do not edit your original post to indicate a new bid, create a new post with the increased bid. Be sure to indicate which team you are representing in each post you make in this section.
e. Free agency will operate through the use of a financial system in which teams will offer a contract which includes the number of years being offered as well as the contract’s total value. The average annual value of the contract will be subtracted from a team’s available salary cap space. An example of a free agent offer is as follows:
i. QB Joe Flacco: five years, $100 million
f. In this case, the team signing Flacco will be spending $20 million of their available cap space, because $100 million divided by five years equals $20 million. If multiple teams offer contracts with the same total value, the free agent will generally be assigned to the team which offered fewer years (as the average annual value would be higher in that case.) For example, a bid of four years and $100 million would have been sufficient to outbid the offer listed in the example above. However, contracts with an average annual value under $3 million will be awarded to the team offering fewer years. For example, an offer of one year and $2 million will win against an offer of two years and $4 million.
g. If contracts are similar in overall value or average annual value, I will determine the free agent’s destination based on which offer I believe represents the best fit. For example, if the Ravens and Jets both offered Joe Flacco similar contracts, I may be more inclined to assign him to the Ravens, as they are his “hometown” team, had a better record, etc.
h. Some players who receive offers which are determined to be below market value will not sign with a team at the end of a wave. They will remain in the market, with teams being required to resubmit their offers in the following wave; offers made during the previous wave will not be carried over.
5. SEVEN-ROUND 2014 NFL DRAFT
a. The draft clock will typically run from noon to midnight (Eastern Standard Time), unless otherwise specified; the clock will not run on weekends. Teams will have one hour to make each of their picks. Teams will be skipped if their time expires unless their general manager has previously submitted a big board. I will attempt to contact all general managers when they are on the clock; however, not being contacted is not an excuse for missing a pick. Free agent signings will be suspended from the end of the second wave of free agency until after the draft concludes.
b. Trades will be selectively approved based on realism; I reserve the right to reject all trades which appear either uneven or unrealistic. It will be more difficult to trade star players and starters than reserves. Do not consider a trade approved without consulting me first; all approved trades are to be posted in the trade thread. Trading for a player will affect your salary-cap situation; teams which trade for a player will be required to pay that player’s base salary, while teams which trade a player will be required to pay the bonus/guaranteed money remaining on that player’s contract in a lump sum. For example, by trading Miles Austin, the Cowboys would save his base salary $5.5 million, but be required to pay the figure listed under “2014 Dead Money” on www.overthecap.com
, a total of $7.9 million. The team trading for Austin would be required to pay his base salary, in this case $5.5 million; they would not be responsible for the “Dead Money” figure.
6. UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENCY WAVE III / UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
a. The third wave of unrestricted free agency will follow the same rules as the first two waves (outlined above), although teams will now be able to offer one-year contracts at the veteran minimum which will not count against their salary cap. In addition, undrafted free agents can be offered contracts which will not count against the salary cap. However, to ensure more even distribution of talent teams are prohibited from hoarding more than fifty-three players on their roster at the end of this period; only sign players who you will be including on a final fifty-three-man roster.
7. DISCLAIMER / QUESTIONS / SUGGESTIONS
a. By applying for a team, you are agreeing to abide by the rules as outlined in this thread. If you would like me to clarify anything, please feel free to ask, but please make an effort to find the answer yourself first, as it may already be answered above. Additionally, please feel free to make any suggestions that you believe would improve the process, and I will consider them. The best time to make these suggestions is before the offseason begins. However, I reserve the right to reject any suggestions. I have put considerable thought and effort into designing the offseason in what I feel would be an effective, entertaining manner, and I will be investing considerable time and effort into ensuring that all of the components of the offseason run smoothly as well. Please follow the rules as closely as possible. If you have any strenuous objections to any rules or decisions which will prevent you from respecting them, please do not apply. Any major violations or problems may result in general manager privileges being revoked.