If you are a Pro Head Coach, one of the most important parts of your job is managing your players. This involves an eye for the business side of the game as well as talent evaluation. The only thing financially that you have to keep track of is player salaries and how close you are to the salary cap. If you are an NAFL coach, you do have to worry about your finances because you are not in charge of player personnel decisions.
Player contracts are not like NFL contracts, but are more similar to NBA or MLB contracts. They are a straight salary and act as guaranteed contracts. When you sign a player, you can only control his salary and the years on his contract.
The salary cap at the moment for an EFL team is $132 million. This number can move but it is only at the administrators' discretion to move it. The sum of all players under contract with your team must remain at or below this cap, similar to the NFL. You may see how much salary money you have and the available space under the cap at the Free Agents signing screen.
If you waive a player that is under contract with your team, you will accrue a cap hit for that. The cap hit is equal to half the value of the contract, and you will keep the cap hit for the length of that player's contract (I believe if the player signs a new contract or retires, the cap hit is reduced or goes away, but don't quote me on that). Cap hits should be avoided at all costs.
Getting the best talent while staying under the cap can be a real challenge, but there are a few things that you can do to try and stay as far under the cap as you can.
- Don't overpay a player! Just because a player was with your team the past few seasons doesn't mean he deserves a high salary. Be conscious of where a prospective player will be on your depth chart before you decided to shell out a lot of money to him. If he will be a backup or is older, don't shell out a ton of money to keep him
- Keep player contract lengths in mind - When signing a player, you have to always keep in mind how long you want to sign them for. Generally, the longer the contract, the more money the player will demand and vice versa. If you are planning on that player being a long term player, be sure to lock him in a long contract so that he will play for you longer without becoming a free agent. Older players and backups are better on short contracts because it helps you avoid having to potentially waive them
- 'Trading is your friend'! One of the best ways to move cap money is to trade a player because it lets you avoid cap hits letting you obtain good players. One of the most effective methods for trading is to go into chat a lot or PM other head coaches. Coaches are more willing to trade than you would think