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SwagSloth

NSFL GM

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Apr 18 2018, 11:02 AM
Lately, a lot of discussion has popped up again on raising contract minimums. This is something that I was a major advocate for before I became a GM. However, once I became a GM, I quickly started to realize how tight the budgets of many teams already were. As they say, there are two sides to every coin. So, with this topic becoming relevant again, I’ve decided to put together a look at what the average team budget would look like based on the league as it is today.

To start, for players, I think we can agree that there are two main issues with contracts right now:
(1) Contracts don’t always reflect the TPE of a player. Someone that signed for $1 mil at 395 TPE may now be playing at 700-800 TPE and still get paid $1 mil.
(2) Teams with several loyal players open up cap room, so that teams can pay a larger amount to free agents compared to teams that already spread the money around to their actives.

With this article, I’m going to take a look at what a realistic budget would look like if we followed current TPE. If you had to sign an entire team of free agents today, what would that look like? While teams benefit from old contracts signed at lower TPE levels, as budgets get tighter, those teams are going to have to cut corners to meet rising minimums when it comes time to re-sign. So, rather than follow existing budgets that may not be sustainable, I’d rather focus on a viable long-term budget model.



Based on the chart above, the average team needs to invest about $41,000,000 of its $75,000,000 budget just to meet its minimums. They will have to pay more than this as some players will obviously demand more than minimum, but that’s the floor. We’ll also assume that this team wants an offensive line comparable to the league average, which is 550 TPE and costs $4,500,000 per Bot. That adds $22,500,000 to your $41,000,000, raising the minimum investment to $63,500,000. This leaves $11,500,000 left in flexible money, which isn’t a lot (less than 20%).

As a GM, I view two options here:
(1) I can pay 11-12 actives $1,000,000 each over their minimum TPE. This rewards my most devoted players and creates a culture of equality, but will lock us out of certain free agents. Our best bet for recruiting here is promoting a balanced reward system and, hopefully, being competitive enough that a championship is still in reach.
(2) Encourage my loyal players to take the minimum and use that $11,500,000 to pay 3-4 free agents well over the minimum. This rewards the least loyal players, but allows us to compete in bidding wars.

Currently, many members of the league are loyal to their teams and happy to take the mimimum, allowing most owners to focus on option #2. However, that amount of flexible TPE used to be a lot larger and it’s been shrinking each season as players accumulate more TPE. Unless the cap gets raised (which may or may not happen at some point), the days of players getting $10,000,000 contracts are fading away. We’ve just been waiting for things to even out. Technically, we’re still waiting since many high TPE players are still on old contracts, but the trajectory is in place for much tighter budgets and we are moving in the right direction.

The reason I offer this type of data up is to try to get more people to think about the bigger picture. Something does need to be done about contract minimums. Personally, I think the current minimums are fine, but contracts need to be more predictive of TPE growth. We can’t just have contracts auto-adjust because teams have to build budgets in advance. For example, YKW puts together conceptual budgets several seasons ahead and considers them when deciding what we can offer free agents and re-signing players. Forcing us to predict exact TPE growth would complicate that process drastically, but there are ways to build some sort of slope or auto-correction into contract minimums and still allow teams to plan accordingly. There are a lot of solutions being offered up about contracts and I’m not advocating for any specific solution here. I’m only trying to help provide more data, so that we can be better informed in discussing those solutions. If every team had to re-sign its players today, you’d find that most budgets are going to be very tight.

I think it’s also useful to players to be aware of this for the purpose of their own negotiations. We’ve all seen the $10,000,000+ contracts that have been given out at times and be tempted to chase that. Many of us put a lot of time into this league and with that dedication comes a sense of pride. You’re likely loyal to your own team, but at the same time, you also question your player’s value. If every team got to bid on me today, what could I get? I’ve asked myself that at times. I don’t even need the money. It’s just a matter of curiosity. However, we do have to keep in mind some of the contracts negotiated in the past few seasons are products of the early days and aren’t sustainable for a competitive team. In theory, a rebuilding team might be able to afford that, but they’re probably better off funneling that money into younger players that put loyalty over money. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get paid, but the size of even the biggest contracts are starting to shrink as budgets get tighter. With regression just around the corner, we’re as close to a real picture of what the league will look like long-term as we’ve ever been. The TPE of older players will decrease, but the younger players are catching up and will draw more money than they did before. Everything is slowly evening out. And that’s a good thing for the league.

For the purposes of full disclosure, I’m sharing two additional charts below, showcasing the TPE thresholds for all current starters. This is where the information in the data table above comes from.

A few notes:
- Players under 200 TPE are falsely displayed at $1,000,000 rather than $500,000. The actual table counts them as $500k, but rounds up before displaying the value. The correct un-rounded value is still correctly used in calculating the average.
- Back-ups get paid $500k. The sole purpose of this is to swap in a player to refresh TPE and swap them out on the next play. A low-TPE inactive is best-suited for this role.
- I tried to loosely figure out where players fit on their teams, so that we could use actual starters to determine these results. However, the sim itself is very flexible and there is a lot of wiggle room here. Several positions have been grouped together to account for this. Most teams will find a way to fit their best players in at needed positions when the opportunity is available. I do not have access to other team’s Depth Charts, but it doesn’t seem necessary for a baseline example.
- For offense, “WR4” is more of an offensive flex. It’s the 11th man that floats around the field as needed. I tried to use the best remaining player. If it’s a RB2 or TE2, they might play FB or slot. If it’s a WR3/4, they might play slot or even switch to TE if the team needs its TE to play FB. (TEs need to be better blockers than WRs in general.)
- For defense, the 11th man is typically either a defensive lineman, linebacker, or a strong safety playing linebacker. As with offense, I tried to use the best remaining player that wasn’t starting elsewhere. Some of these will be CBs/FSs that aren’t built for the linebacker position, but a team could easily move that player to SS and run their top SS at LB instead. It’s not necessarily ideal, but it’s possible and sometimes needs to be done if better options aren’t available. Creativity goes a long way in DC planning.

1,365 Words
Ready for Grading



Apr 15 2018, 06:53 PM
Note: We already have these OL with the same names in the sheet so just update those players with their new weights and skills listed below. Changes from last season in RED. (Only Melvin Mushing is affected by changes this season.)

BOT ONE
First Name: Melvin
Last Name: Mushing
Position: OL - Tackle
Jersey Number:
Height (ft.): 6'8"
Weight (lbs.): 340lbs
Player Archetype: Pass Blocker (Eg. Jason Peters, Joe Thomas)
TPE Available: 350
(MAX: 100) - Strength: 70 + 20 = 90 (150 TPE)
(MAX: 75) - Agility: 50 + 20 = 70 (40 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Arm: 1
(MAX: 85) - Intelligence: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Throwing Accuracy: 1
(MAX: 60) - Tackling: 35
(MAX: 65) - Speed: 35 + 30 = 65 (45 TPE)
(MAX: 50) - Hands: 20
(MAX: 100) - Pass Blocking: 75 + 6 = 81 (35 TPE)
(MAX: 85) - Run Blocking: 50 + 20 = 70 (40 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Endurance: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Kick Power: 1
(MAX: 25) - Kick Accuracy: 1

BOT TWO
First Name: Alexandre
Last Name: Rchon
Position: OL - Tackle
Jersey Number:
Height (ft.): 6'8"
Weight (lbs.): 340lbs
Player Archetype: Pass Blocker (Eg. Jason Peters, Joe Thomas)
TPE Available: 550
(MAX: 100) - Strength: 70 + 25 = 95 (225 TPE)
(MAX: 75) - Agility: 50 + 23 = 73 (55 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Arm: 1
(MAX: 85) - Intelligence: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Throwing Accuracy: 1
(MAX: 60) - Tackling: 35
(MAX: 65) - Speed: 35 + 30 = 65 (45 TPE)
(MAX: 50) - Hands: 20
(MAX: 100) - Pass Blocking: 75 + 12 = 87 (95 TPE)
(MAX: 85) - Run Blocking: 50 + 30 = 80 (90 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Endurance: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Kick Power: 1
(MAX: 25) - Kick Accuracy: 1



BOT THREE
First Name: Samson
Last Name: Pooky
Position: OL - Guard
Jersey Number:
Height (ft.): 6'7"
Weight (lbs.): 340lbs
Player Archetype: Run Blocker (Eg. Taylor Lewan, Zach Martin)
TPE Available: 550
(MAX: 100) - Strength: 70 + 26 = 96 (240 TPE)
(MAX: 70) - Agility: 45 + 25 = 70 (45 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Arm: 1
(MAX: 85) - Intelligence: 60 + 5 = 65 (10 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Throwing Accuracy: 1
(MAX: 60) - Tackling: 35
(MAX: 70) - Speed: 40 + 30 = 70 (50 TPE)
(MAX: 50) - Hands: 20
(MAX: 85) - Pass Blocking: 50 + 32 = 82 (110 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Run Blocking: 75 + 10 = 85 (75 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Endurance: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Kick Power: 1
(MAX: 25) - Kick Accuracy: 1



BOT FOUR
First Name: Bob
Last Name: Ones
Position: OL - Guard
Jersey Number:
Height (ft.): 6'7"
Weight (lbs.): 340lbs
Player Archetype: Run Blocker (Eg. Taylor Lewan, Zach Martin)
TPE Available: 550
(MAX: 100) - Strength: 70 + 26 = 96 (240 TPE)
(MAX: 70) - Agility: 45 + 25 = 70 (45 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Arm: 1
(MAX: 85) - Intelligence: 60 + 5 = 65 (10 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Throwing Accuracy: 1
(MAX: 60) - Tackling: 35
(MAX: 70) - Speed: 40 + 30 = 70 (50 TPE)
(MAX: 50) - Hands: 20
(MAX: 85) - Pass Blocking: 50 + 32 = 82 (110 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Run Blocking: 75 + 10 = 85 (75 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Endurance: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Kick Power: 1
(MAX: 25) - Kick Accuracy: 1



BOT FIVE
First Name: Tim
Last Name: Amper
Position: OL - Center
Jersey Number:
Height (ft.): 6'5"
Weight (lbs.): 340lbs
Player Archetype: Technician (Eg. Travis Frederick, Alex Mack)
TPE Available: 550
(MAX: 95) - Strength: 70 + 25 = 95 (225 TPE)
(MAX: 75) - Agility: 45 + 25 = 70 (45 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Arm: 1
(MAX: 90) - Intelligence: 65 + 6 = 71 (15 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Throwing Accuracy: 1
(MAX: 60) - Tackling: 35
(MAX: 65) - Speed: 35 + 30 = 65 (45 TPE)
(MAX: 50) - Hands: 20
(MAX: 95) - Pass Blocking: 65 + 19 = 84 (100 TPE)
(MAX: 95) - Run Blocking: 65 + 19 = 84 (100 TPE)
(MAX: 100) - Endurance: 60 + 10 = 70 (20 TPE)
(MAX: 25) - Kick Power: 1
(MAX: 25) - Kick Accuracy: 1
Apr 9 2018, 07:47 PM
Eric Kennedy Extension

S8: $4,000,000
S9: $4,000,000)
S10: $4,000,000 (TO)

Bzerkap
Apr 6 2018, 10:07 PM


Apr 5 2018, 09:38 AM
In the wake of the last few days, after some further reflection, I’ve decided to make an announcement… Eric Kennedy will not be retiring.

Not yet, at least. Not in a storyline capacity or anything else. Since many people may still have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll take a little time today to speak out-of-character about what’s been going on and why the decision to been made to revert the change.


What Happened: On April Fool’s Day, I made the announcement that Kennedy was being “storyline” retired and replaced by a different character, Booker Thomas. While others have name changed, the idea here was that Booker would be a brand new character while still represented in the sim as the same player (after a position change to Red Zone WR). Thomas would retain Kennedy’s TPE and compete in the NSFL for several seasons, hopefully carving out his own legacy separate from Kennedy’s time on the field.


The Reason for the Change: I have been talking with my team for a while about a new direction. The thinking in drafting the S6 Running Backs was that one of them would inherit the role and Kennedy would move on. However, that next step was never set in stone. There were several discussions with several different players on our team about position changes. As a co-GM, it is important for me to make sure that everyone is happy in their position and I wanted this change to be in alignment with that. A lot of people saw Kennedy changing to WR as a given, but it was never set in stone. Actually, a lot of thought was placed on defensive needs like DT and LB. Ultimately, as we now know, Boss Tweed came over now and will be playing LB, so it made sense for me to go WR as originally expected.

However, I’ve always been very attached to the idea of Kennedy as a Running Back. When he entered the league, my goal was always to be a bell cow RB. The idea of being a receiver never occurred to me until I found myself as a back-up to Bubba Nuck and even then it was basically just a way to get me more involved in the offense. Even when I went Receiving Back, a lot of the thought behind it was that I could continue to catch passes, but still be strong at other stats. Realistically, though, Receiving Back was very unbalanced in terms of its TPE caps and I was glad to see the RB archetypes get put on equal footing. Unfortunately, the result was that my Receiving Back… was now a receiving back and not the “hey, I’m good at everything” type of player he was on track to become long-term. And that was more than understandable, but it was also the catalyst for me finally looking into a position change.

In addition, the Kennedy name is fairly tainted at this point. The success of my S5 season due to the sim favoring RB receivers resulted in a volume that actual WRs of the same TPE could not compete with. Once the results started to roll in, a lot of people accused me of exploiting. Truthfully, that was never my goal. The thought process was more or less that inactive WR DJ Law was our slot guy and I had better stats than him, so we decided to try that out instead. We had no idea that it would work as well as it did. We now know that it ended up working too well. I did a lot of questioning behind the scenes to figure out if we had done something wrong. The exploit isn’t as obvious at slot receiver as it is at outside receiver and I hadn’t done enough raw testing to prove anything, but I suspected that something was off and had my own reservations. The general feeling by late S5 was that something was off, but we weren’t the only team using RBs as receivers and that it was probably something that would get reigned in during the offseason. We prepared for the consequences and assumed that they would come (which I mentioned above and willingly accept). Going into S6, even though the RB receiver exploit was still there, I lobbied hard to become the team’s RB1 and move away from the slot receiver role. As a co-GM, I always try to put the success of our team before my own player. However, I was unhappy with the direction that my player had taken and wanted to get back on that RB1 route. Team struggles in S6 forced me back on the receiver path, but I would argue that Kennedy’s RB performance was decent while he was lined up in that spot. He hit 4.0 YPC and was hardly a bust. Unfortunately, that still put him at the back of the pack for starting RBs. And, to make matters worse, my Strength/Speed/Agility was capped while others were not, so the gap was only going to get wider if he stayed in that role. The Receiving Back is ideal for a slot receiver and, unfortunately, that was the fate I’d doomed myself to. I support the balancing of positions, but this was a change I made when I was behind an active RB1 and I’d probably have gone a different direction if I knew that Nuck would go inactive shortly after I made the change. (This isn’t something I’ve spoken about in such detail yet, so pardon me for going long with that explanation.)

With all of that in mind, the Kennedy experiment seemed to be a failure. I worked several seasons to get out from behind the RB2 role and, when my player finally broke through, the name became tied to an exploit. Several people noted in S5 that they weren’t familiar with my player before I started topping the Wide Receiver stat charts. A few people mistook me for a rookie. I’ve been active on the forum for a long time, so people likely knew the username SwagSloth, but they never connected it with my player because he was always such a mediocre performer. As a result, I was very close to retiring just to get a fresh start. I looked at several positions just as I did with position change, but even with the option to position change still there, a fresh start seemed more appealing.

April Fool’s Day was also a factor. The idea behind the timing of the announcement was that I thought it’d be fun to announce something drastic and unexpected on April Fool’s Day, only to reveal later that it wasn’t a joke. However, the original idea was going to be to have me retire Kennedy with a post in the retirement thread on April Fool’s Day, then actually go through with it. And, if we had a worse season in S6, maybe that would have happened, but the Wraiths are still a strong team and now seems like the wrong time to do that to them. Especially not when I could still change to a needed position. So, then the idea came to me to just name change and treat it as a new player in media posts. I felt it was a creative way to distance myself from the Kennedy name without betraying my vision for the original character. Kennedy would crash and burn, which is actually a very “Kennedy” thing to do if you’ve followed my media over the last year.


The Reason I’m Reverting the Change: In talking with a few people behind the scenes, there are a lot of angles that I hadn’t considered to this. Kennedy’s career is part of the NSFL history, the good and the bad. I was ready to write off his career as a bust; personally, I don’t think S5 should be part of any consideration for his entry into the Hall of Fame and, if you remove that, nothing else in the last 5 seasons entitles me to that kind of recognition. Maybe toss him in a Wraiths Team HoF for being a team player, but the record books were not kind to him outside of one good season. I felt that any HoF consideration would come from S7 onward and, as a result, Booker Thomas would be able to be judged on that alone. Still, even with league storylines, changing a player isn’t as simple as changing a character on a TV show. In sports, there are career stats and those are important aspect of the game. That type of change sets a precedent that could be disruptive for the league down the road. There are a lot of angles to this that I’m sure I haven’t properly considered and that makes me feel that this was the wrong move.

For the record, I’ve spoken to a few HO members, but there was never a direct push for me to stop the change. I approached them to discuss how this would affect us long-term after considered that I didn’t look before I leaped. There was some talk of it in the Wraiths’ Draft War Room as I knew whatever position I chose would affect our draft choices and the character change was a way for me to get around my attachment to the character. For their part, pretty much everyone in the war room thought I was crazy, but supported me, anyway. Because of S5, this is a character that’s tied to the history of the league and perhaps he deserves a longer run even if his name is a bit tainted. His teammates enjoy playing with him. His opponents probably enjoy rooting against him. As a legitimate WR, I’m hoping that Kennedy will be able to put the past behind him and go on to build a better reputation for himself.


What Happens Now: Eric Kennedy is here to stay and he will be position changing to Wide Receiver under his old name. While I’m still very attached to the RB role, his career has really been that of a receiver and I’m going to embrace it. I still love the RB role, but he’s hit his ceiling in that role and we’ve got a player coming up in Robby Rainey that I’m really excited to see take on the starting job. Booker Thomas is going back on the shelf and maybe he’ll return after Kennedy legitimately retires, but that’s still a good way down the road. There’s some media out there that doesn’t quite fit now, but it was posted on April Fool’s Day, so maybe it turned out to be a joke afterall. I want to thank my team and the Head Office of being supportive of my original idea, but in hindsight, I think changing course is the right move for the legitimacy of the league and I’ve decided to make that call while it was still an option (given that the name change hasn’t processed).

Note: If anyone is considering a Calvin Johnson render, I’ve retracted my claim for his likeness. Feel free to claim him. You have my blessing.


* * * *


Since Character Work is important to me, I’ll add an official statement:
“Over the last few days, a large variety of misinformation was presented to the public concerning Wraiths RB Eric Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy would like the NSFL fans to know that he will be returning to action in the S7 as a full-time wide receiver. He has full confidence in the team’s younger RBs and is ready to pass the torch to them, so that he can re-focus his efforts where they are most useful. In preparation for a new role and a long recovery from injuries obtained at the end of the S6 season, Kennedy’s former publishing company released a number of unsubstantiated claims that they presented as facts. We’ve been told that the stunt was part of an April Fool’s Joke gone wrong. After the trade for Boss Tweed, Kennedy did meet with Spike Crown as his expectation was that he was stepping aside to let the young RBs shine and there was some confusion on his part, but we know now that Tweed will be playing LB and Kennedy is excited to see this future Hall-of-Famer join the Wraiths. While there was concern for his health, his doctors have cleared him. He is currently working closely with the team’s coaches to ensure that he properly adapts to the wide receiver role and is able to leave his more dangerous habits from his RB days behind, so that he does not continue to put himself or anyone else at risk. The team is excited to see him embrace this new role and is looking forward to a season that will see both Boss Tweed and Eric Kennedy in exciting new positions.”

2,145 Words
Ready for Grading
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