With a new iteration of our favorite annual digital disappointment coming in a matter of weeks, here are the new house rules I will be using for my Franchise Mode this year.
I hope to post regular updates throughout my journey in this mode as it will hopefully keep me interested as I move through a few seasons or more.
- Trading Down – You can trade down once in the first two rounds and three times total.
- Scouting – NEW – Regional Scouts must focus on different positions from other scouts. National Scouts can scout any position.
- Big Board – NEW – You must draft according to your big board within the Top 5 Picks. This has changed in order to bring more challenge to drafting.
- Sleeper Rule – You can choose any player up to one round before their projected position. This will keep you honest and give the CPU a chance to take these sleepers before you get the chance.
- Draft Pick Limitations – NEW – You can only hold a limited amount of picks in each draft. The rules for your draft pick amounts are somewhat complicated, but they will make for a better experience.
- Maximum of 10 picks in any draft
- You can have two first round picks for up to two years in a row
- If you end up with three first round picks during any draft you must trade one of them to a division opponent for their lowest pick in the next season’s draft. Before the draft you are free to move any of your three first rounders how you see fit (within the rules).
- You cannot draft two QBs in two consecutive rounds
- You cannot draft more than two QBs, HBs, or TEs in any draft
Free Agency and Re-Signing –
- You can only sign two 90+ OVR free agent player per off-season.
- You can sign one player outside of each of your schemes during free agency bidding (1 on Offense, 1 on Defense).
- You can make ONE offer to any player on your team with 90+ OVR during the re-signing period while in regular season. If they turn down your offer they must be allowed to test free agency – the rule above still applies.
- QB Specific – If you have two QBs with 80+ OVR you must allow one of them to test free agency when their contract expires. If both are on expiring deals you must choose one to attempt to re-sign. This will allow CPU teams to have access to quality QBs and drive realism.
- STAGE 1 – 5 Offer Limit – (1) Two Players Rated 90+ (2) Three Players Rated 80-89 (3) Any Amount of Players Rated 79 and Under.
- STAGE 2 – 10 Offer Limit (1) Two Players Rated 90+ (2) Five Players Rated 80-89 (3) Any Amount of Players Rated 79 and Under.
- STAGE 3 – No Limit – (1) One Player Rated 90+, (2) No Limit on other offers as of right now. This could change depending on how the AI acts in the first two stages.
Staff Points –
Each upgrade you purchase must rotate between each section (Coach, Off Coord, Def Coord, and Personnel). This means you can’t throw all of your points into making trades easier and you can’t put them all into your Head Coach either. Spread them out and it will add depth to your experience.
Trading – NEW – During the pre-season you are permitted to make a maximum of four trades (one per week). (1) Two trades can involve acquiring draft picks. (2) Two more trades can be made that are player for player. (3) Any player you acquire must have a lower OVR than what you are giving up OR if they are a greater OVR they must be over 30 years old.
- In addition, if the CPU declines a trade offer you can make one more counter-offer. If that offer is declined you cannot offer them another trade that season.
GAMEPLAY HOUSE RULES
- Play Calling – Set Play Limit to 10, Cooldown to 4.
- Hot Routes – You can use one hot route per series.
- Money Plays – If you find a play that works often enough against the CPU that it becomes a go to play, you must either remove it from your playbook or stop using it immediately.
- Running Up The Score – If you are up by 21+ points in the fourth quarter you must switch to Chew Clock and choose a running play while rotating new HBs as well as a new QB in the final two minutes.
- Passing No Switch – Do not user control a WR until after the catch has been made. This will add realism, challenge, and more animations! This is the same when you are playing defense unless you are controlling the DB from the start of the play.
- No Huddle – This can be used only on the first drive of the game and during the final two minutes of either half. It cannot be used to keep other personnel on the field outside of the situations above.
- 4th Down – You can go for it if you are losing the in the fourth quarter or if there are fewer than five seconds left in the half and you are within 60 yards of the endzone.