Free agent market
Several months ago we have announced that we have started the development of the free agent market. We are now very close to launching this new feature and implementing it into the game. Therefore it is my duty to inform you how this market will work.
Before I start, I would like emphasize that free agent market is a necessity for a game like this. Otherwise the managers of the top teams who have been here for many seasons will soon run out of things to do. It is not a good thing when one team is able to play with the same roster for 10 or 15 seasons. There must always be something to play for and the free agent market is that element that will become the next big challenge for these veteran managers and also a chance for the new managers to get their hands on some experienced players.
There will be 3 types of free agents:
- Restricted Free Agent (RFA) - a player who has reached 26 years of age and whose contract expires in 14 days. This player has the right to negotiate contract with other teams. His new contract will be made up of signing bonus and daily salary calculated the same way as now. The contract will be signed for 336 days (3 seasons). The teams can send bids from 14 to 8 days before the contract expires. Then the current team will have 7 days to match the highest bid. However, it is enough for the current team to pay 70% of the highest offer to keep the player (it can be even less as will be explained below). If the current team passes or can't match the offer, the player signs a contract with the highest bidder. His former team gets 50% of the signing bonus as a compensation for losing a restricted free agent.
- Group 1 Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA-I) - a player who has reached 29 years of age and whose contract expires in 14 days. This player has the right to negotiate contract with other teams. His new contract will be made up of signing bonus and daily salary calculated the same way as now. The contract will be signed for 336 days (3 seasons). The teams can send bids from 14 to 8 days before the contract expires. Then the current team will have 7 days to match the highest bid. However, it is enough for the current team to pay 90% of the highest offer to keep the player (it can be even less as will be explained below). If the current team passes or can't match the offer, the player signs a contract with the highest bidder. No compensation is given to his former team because the player is an unrestricted free agent.
- Group 2 Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA-II) - a player who has reached 32 years of age (or more) and whose contract expires in 14 days. Same rules apply as for UFA-I, except this kind of player signs a deal for 112 days (1 season) only and becomes a UFA-II every season.
Every free agent enters the market automatically when there are 14 days left on his contract and when he has reached the required age. Every team will be able to send 1 contract offer to the free agent. The bidding will be secret and offers will not be published. The only manager who will be able to see the highest offer will be the current owner of the player. However, he will not be able to see which team posted the bid. The bid is actually a signing bonus for the player. The player automatically picks the highest bidder (in case of equal offers, the player chooses the team from the league with the highest average team rating and if still equal he picks the team with the highest OTR) and the bidding ends 8 days before his contract expires. The remaining 7 days are for his current team to decide if they want to match that offer. However, the current team will not have to match the full value of the highest offer, only a certain percentage depending on the FA status of the player and the number of bonuses paid out to the player in the previous seasons.
You can gain loyalty of a player by giving him a bonus once a season. The bonus equals a 10-day salary of a player and it reduces the signing bonus needed to retain the player by 5% once he reaches free agency. You can give bonuses to players until they reach 25 years of age. Therefore the maximum number of bonuses that one player can get over the course of his career is 11 (15 to 25 years old). That could give you as much as 55% discount on signing bonus. You can give a season bonus to a maximum of 4 players every season. These bonuses will not be published so the bidders will not be able to see how much they need to overpay to get the player they want.
Imagine you have a really talented player who has been in your team since he was 15. At age 26 he will hit the RFA market, but you have already given him 11 season bonuses. If someone gives your player a signing bonus of 100 million, you will only need to match 15% of this sum (70%-55%). It means that you can keep your franchise players in your team for a relatively small price.
This discount will also apply to UFA-I and UFA-II. Instead of 90%, you will only need to match 35% (90%-55%) if you have given that player 11 season bonuses over his career.
The main advantage of this system is that there will be no bid-wars. It will still be possible to keep the core of your team together, but you will also have to think who belongs to your core and who is replaceable. The FA market should ensure the fluctuation of players in the system and prevent the managers to switch to "autopilot" once they build a strong team. We believe that this is an exciting new feature that will add a whole new dimension to this game.
You will soon be able to give season bonuses to your players retroactively for the first 6 seasons. You will be able to pick 4 players in every season and you will only be able to pick players who have been in your team in that season. The first players will hit the RFA market in season 7.
Have a nice day!