Contract negotiations are made through the "Contract Negotiations" button in your team control menu, and can be made at any time during the season. The most important time is in the week immediately before a season initialization, when all returning players whose contracts are expiring must be signed if you want them to come back. As with real-life, many players (especially the better veteran players) will refuse to negotiate, but less-skilled and/or younger players will have offers ready for negotiating a new contract.|
Players 27 or older (29+ in baseball) have the right to refuse a contract with their current team. For such players, there is little you can do to force them to re-sign, except in football where you can designate franchise players with the "Franchise Player" button in your team control menu.
The minimum contract value for a player is $0.04 million; all minor league contracts and rookie contracts are signed for this value. Minor league players are always paid the face value of their contracts; players on the major league team will earn at least the minimum wage for their sport and age. The minimum in baseball is $0.30 million; other sports are as per the following table:
A player being paid more than his nominal contract value is noted as such on the roster salary section by "minimum $0.40 value" (or a different amount, depending on sport and age).
To negotiate a new contract with a player, use the "Contract Negotiations" button in your team control menu. You must then offer a contract with a value at least as high as the player's desired salary. You may also renegotiate a contract of a player with many seasons remaining on his current contract the same way. Note that player's desired salaries can change (up or down) during the season - especially at season end and training camps.
A contract, when offered, consists of a value, a duration, and a bonus type. The value can be anything, so long as it fits under your budget. The duration can be from 1 to 10 years (8 years in football, 7 years in basketball), with possible restrictions on each end. The minimum length of the contract is typically 1 year, unless the player is a entry-level salary eligible player (baseball and hockey only) already signed to a long-term contract. The maximum length of a contract is proportional to the amount offered and also a function of the sport and the player's ability. The following values are roughly what the best players will sign max-length contracts for, though some rare players may require more. The worst players will sign max-length contracts for half these amounts.
- Basketball: $20 million
- Football-QB: $14 million
- Baseball: $12 million
- Hockey: $10 million
- Soccer: $8 million
- Football-other: $7.5 million
- Football-kicker: $3.6 million
Finally is the bonus. While the salary is contingent upon the player remaining on your roster, the signing bonus is money that the player will get guaranteed, even if he retires or is cut. (Note that a player on contract will sometimes not retire unless he reaches age 50.) The bonus amount is 30% of the contract value per year of the contract, and is paid over the lifetime of the contract.
Using a bonus saves you 20% of the contract value, meaning that a $1 contract valued at million per year costs only $0.8 million per year. A one-year contract can be signed without bonus, meaning that the owner pays 100% of the contract value. This is only recommended if you think it likely that you will cut the player, or if the player is so cheap that it doesn't matter.
All contracts are determined by a formula. We will examine an example contract, and show the equations that determine the end value of the contract. The contract is used in both the CONTRACTS and FA-BIDS commands.
For all equations, we are using a $1.00 (one million dollar level) value contract over 5 years. The Bonus level is always 30%. Remember, all values must be divisible by $0.01 million.
Before going into the contracts, we should define the terms that we will be using in the contract equations:
Priority: A fifth value on the contract, this is used only on contracts that are offered as bids for free agents. The priority is optional, and can be any value between 0 and 255, with higher being of more importance to you. A priority of zero is equal to no priority listed.
- Sample Contract: There is one minor difference between the CONTRACTS and FA-BIDS Contracts. Take note that FA-BIDS has an optional fifth value, priority, defined below.
- The Contract: 1234 1.00 5 1
- Player ID: In this case, 1234 represents the ID number that each player has preceding his name in the roster, draft and Free Agent lists.
- Contract Value: Contract Value is the "worth" of the contract, in millions of dollars. In this case, it is $1.00 million. This second figure in the contract is ALWAYS called the contract value.
- Contract Length: Immediately following the Contract Value. In this sample contract, Contract Length is equal to 5, which is the number of years for the contract.
- Bonus Type: "no" or "yes"
Determining the Annual Bonus
Annual Bonus = Bonus Percentage * Contract Value
Recalling our original contract, the bonus is 30%. But 30% of what? A simple algebraic equation can give us an actual dollar amount for the bonus, which is quite helpful if you want to know how much money you're actually spending. In this case, the annual bonus is 30% * 1.00, or $0.3 million.
Determining the Base Salary
Base Salary = Contract Value - (5/3 * Annual Bonus)
Now, in our contract, we see that you are offering a 1.00 level, which means one million dollars, right? In fact, the base salary, like the bonus must be found using yet another simple algebraic equation. (See a pattern forming?) Here, it is important is important to remember that ROUNDING will be to the NEAREST value that is divisible by .01, and NOT down (as is the case in bonuses).
In this case, the Base Salary equals 1 - 5/3 * 0.3 = 0.5 million. Thus your total payment to the player per year (bonus plus salary) is $0.8 million.
In some cases, you will be lowering a player's total bonus if you renegotiate a shorter contract. In this case, you will be required to pay the bonus difference at the time of signing. This is calculated automatically by the web control tool; if the budget cost exceeds the annual salary, you are paying for a buyout.