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#52 SimNFL Free Agency Update, Calendar & Tutorial


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Hello coaches!


Free agency is just around the corner! In Dev Diary #50 we explained the process by which teams will bid on free agents during the offseason, and what rules the offered contracts need to follow. We also explained how players will decide which offer to accept. Today we’ll discuss some additional features that we are adding to the free agency process, lay out the order of events day by day, and then go through specific instructions for how to fill out the form and submit a bid.


Right of First Refusal

This is a major development, so we’ll address it first. We mentioned last time that the leading bids for all free agents will be published each morning: player, leading team, and current Value. While testing, we realized that being the leading bidder going into the last day of the week was actually a DISadvantage; other teams could see exactly how much they should offer to outbid you, so you’d either end up losing the player to someone else or submitting an even higher bid (basically betting against yourself) to hedge against the other teams. To mitigate this, we’re adding a new rule:


The team that has the leading bid on a player going into the last day of the FA period will get the chance to match any team that outbids them.


So if your 15.0 value bid is the best offer out to a star CB at the start of the final day (Sunday morning) but someone submits an 18.0 value bid on the last day, you’ll get the chance to match that exact offer and sign the player. Though this is mostly a rule to patch an issue with the process, we feel it also represents a player (and their agent) being willing to work with a team that has shown interest in the player throughout the process, while still getting the most money out of the deal. Remember, this isn't an auction: it's a series of negotiations in a very tight window.


Sample Calendar

Free agency week 1 begins on Monday, March 28th. For each week, here’s how the days will go:

  • Day 1 (Monday)
    • List of free agents taking offers is published on the forum*
    • Teams can begin submitting offers via the Google Form, to those players only

    [*]Day 2 (Tuesday)

    • First leaderboard is published in the morning

    [*]Day 3 (Wednesday)

    • Updated leaderboard

    [*]Day 4 (Thursday)

    • Updated leaderboard
    • Any bids unmatched since Tuesday become accepted offers & the player signs
      • Teams claiming a player this way should post a reply to the leaderboard**

    [*]Day 5 (Friday)

    • Updated leaderboard
    • Bids unmatched since Wednesday are accepted

    [*]Day 6 (Saturday)

    • Updated leaderboard
    • Bids unmatched since Thursday are accepted

    [*]Day 7 (Sunday)

    • FINAL DAY for teams to submit offers
    • Updated leaderboard; teams listed will have right of first refusal
    • Bids unmatched since Friday are accepted

    [*]Week 2, Day 1 (Monday)

    • Winning bids for week 1 free agents are published
    • Teams who were outbid after leading on Day 7 can match winning bids
      • Teams matching offers this way should post a reply to the results post**

      [*]New list of free agents taking offers is published; process begins again


*Just a formality and for ease of reference. We’ve already listed the players and the cutoffs for OVR rating (79+ in week 1, etc), so there shouldn’t be any surprises


**Teams need to take initiative when claiming players; once the free agency lists get huge in later weeks, the admins won’t necessarily be able to keep track of every player’s bid history


Do’s and Don’ts

DO check the daily leaderboards to see how your bids compare to the leading bids

DO post in threads to claim players with 2-day unmatched offers or to exercise right of first refusal

DO message the mods if you think an error has been made or a rule broken

DON’T submit multiple offers to the same player in the same day

DON’T post anything else in official free agency threads (chatter, hype, etc)

DON’T complain when you don’t get a player you really wanted


Free Agency Form Training

To make absolutely sure we’ve covered all our bases, here’s an example of how to correctly fill out every entry on the free agency bidding form. We’ll use the sample contract from Dev Diary 50 for our tutorial. Use no more than 2 decimals in your submissions. Reminder that the Value Calculator with this output can be found here.




Form Questions

What is your team abbreviation?

See Dev Diary 50 for the official list. As the Browns, I would enter CLE


What is the Player ID?

These will be published along with the players’ names and positions; for year 1 these will all be 5-digit numbers


How many years is the contract?



What is the total signing bonus in $M? (number only, no more than 2 decimals)



What is the total dollar amount of the entire contract (signing bonus + total salary), in $M? (number only, no more than 2 decimals)



What is the calculated Value of the contract? (2 decimals)



What is the salary in year 1? (no more than 2 decimals)



What is the salary in year 2? (no more than 2 decimals; can enter 0 if no year 2)



What is the salary in year 3? (no more than 2 decimals; can enter 0)



What is the salary in year 4? (no more than 2 decimals; can enter 0)



What is the salary in year 5? (no more than 2 decimals; can enter 0)



Breaking Ties

Total Value is always the deciding factor in where a player will sign. If Value is somehow tied between two or more blind bids (and right of first refusal is not applied), the following tiebreakers will be used:

  • Highest total signing bonus
  • Highest total dollar amount
  • Earliest submitted bid

Between the form and the calculator there are multiple checks to validate your bids. However, it is ultimately the owner’s responsibility to ensure that all rules are being followed and that all bids are legal. Improper bids can be invalidated, resulting in sim players signing with other teams.


That’s all for this Dev Diary! Please ask any questions you have, and I will do my best to answer them. Free agency begins Monday!



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