I'm proposing for Madden 18 that EA add a new feature to its BIG DECISION mechanic. What I'd like to see is a Big Decision prompt to restructure salaries and save (or divert) cap space. I think the big challenge is most of us are not experts on NFL Salaries. Madden player salaries are oversimplified compared to actual NFL Salaries. Madden doesn't have performance incentives, front loading, back loading, roster bonuses, or workout bonuses--common components of many NFL contracts.
What I propose is that the game prompt you with:
BIG DECISION: Free Up Some Team Cap Space by restructuring the salaries of your highest players and reducing the salaries of your under performing players. Now, if you were allowed to meddle with every players salary, things would get glitchy very quickly, so what I'm proposing is the CPU determine which players were candidates every off-season. The decision-based criteria the CPU would be driven by true NFL metrics. Mostly, highly paid QBs restructure salaries, so the feature would focus primarily on them, but there are also players who are asked to take pay cuts. Those players will be included as well.
EASY RESTRUCTURING FOR DUMMIES:
My proposal is that we are offered three different options for each player who makes it into the Salary Restructuring NET. So, the options would be:
OPTION A: CONSERVATIVE
Clear 10Million in Cap Space
OPTION B: MODERATE
Clear 15Million in Cap Space
OPTION C: AGGRESSIVE
Clear 20Million in Cap Space
Don't focus on the dollar amounts. I'm not sure what they should be, but know that Option A is the easiest option, meaning, the player will have little qualms about making the change. Option C would cause the player most heartburn. Once you have upset the player, he is liable not to agree to the restructuring, hold out, or demand to be traded (suffice to say there would be ramifications--the more aggressive the savings, the more drastic the negative side effects (whatever those may be).
For those who know much more than I do about salary restructuring, the options could include front-loading, back-loading, and whatever NFL strategy currently in use. So, we are actually just moving monies around--not actually saving money, but freeing up money now which we will ultimately pay for later.
I like an option system, because salaries are complicated. Now, if you are hardcore and would like to change the options yourself, you can do so as well. You can get into the weeks and micromanage if you like, but if you'd rather get back to playing, then take the easy route.
Older players and under performing players sometimes are asked to take a pay cut. I'd like to be able to do this as well in Madden, but I'd like this system to work a little like NCAA Football's Pitch System. I would like three options again, all three with different levels of risk to the player's morale and acceptance. I think the process should involve some back and forth from the team and player (or player's agent):
Team: Hello David Johnson. You are 32 years old and your production has fallen over the last two seasons. We'd like to cut your salary by X amount (You select Option A, B, or C).
Player: While that may be true, I have lead the division in rushing the last 3 seasons and I made the ProBowl.
Team: Fair enough, but you have also been injured 4 games this season and you are getting old.
Player: Ok, I'm not happy about this (you see a visible drop in his morale), but for the team I'll take Option A.
Team: We need you to take Option B.
Player: My agent has advised me to take Option A, but how about we add incentives? If I Lead the Division in rushing this year, I get a bonus of 2Million?
Team: That's fair. Let's write up the contract.