LFL Free Agency & Salary Cap Rules

OFFSEASON - coles notes edition

1. Take your total number of free agents (3,6,9,12,15 year olds) multiply by 0.4  =  Total number of FA releases

2. You may franchise 1 FA. This player is removed from the FA bidding process. He still counts as a positional release.

3. Teams now bid on 1 FA from another team. If the bids are not matched they count as a release.

4. Teams must now release the total number of FA releases from step 1, less the franchise player, less any FA they lost to other teams bids.

Example: Ottawa has 20 FAs. multiply by 0.4 thats 8 releases.              8 releases

                  They franchise a QB, that counts as a QB release.              -1  release can not release another QB

                   They have 2 players bid on. They match one.                         no effect

                                                                   and let one go.
                       -1 release

                                                                                                                      6 is the total they must now release.

For a more detailed look at free agency please read below.

FreeAgent Draft: The Free Agent Draft is a multi-round draft held at the beginning of each new season before the College Draft.  The draft will be held live using the DRAFTSOCK utility.  Each team will have 3 minutes on the clock to make their selections in the 1st round. Rounds 2 to 4 will use a 1.5 minute time limit. Owners may choose to submit a list of players for the Commissioner or another owner to draft from instead of attending the live draft. If an owner does not send in a list for the free agent draft the Commissioner will be forced to select for that team.

Free agent draft picks cannot be traded.

2.  Free Agent Classification: Players Free Agent status will be determined by their experience level prior to the CollegeDraft.

0-2 years experience:Not eligible for free agency.

3 years experience: Restricted Free Agents (RFA's)- If left unprotected, RFA's are released into the free agent draft pool just as unrestricted free agents are.  However, if drafted in the 1st round of the free agent draft the player's former team receives a compensatory draft pick in the following year's collage draft.  The compensatory pick is determined by the pick where the player was selected in the free agent draft.  Below is a list of compensation received for drafted restricted free agents:

No compensation is awarded if a restricted free agent is selected by the team that just released him into the Free Agent Draft Pool.

Compensatory picks will be picks #19 and higher in each round of the next seasons college draft.  They will be in order of team finish just as the normal draft picks are.

6+ years experience:Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA's)- If left unprotected, unrestricted freeagents are released into the free agent draft pool.   They can be drafted by any team with no compensation due to the player's former team.

3.  Franchiseplayer designations:  Each team may designate 1 Franchise player, if a team already has a franchise player than no new player may be named until the old one is traded or released.

Once a player is designated as a Franchise he can not be traded until the team has played at least 1 game.

A Franchise player must make the Franchise player salary generated by Gelat's Utility, 120% of last year's salary, or his newly generated salary (which ever is greater).

In order to select a franchise player you must submit an email to the Commissioner listing the player's first name, last name, and position.  There will be a pre-free agency period, between the end of the season and the beginning of free agency, when you must assign franchise player tags if you are going to do so.

Once you designate your franchise player he is immediately removed from free agency.  He is given a new 3 year contract with a salary computed using the formula above. You will not be allowed another franchise player until your current player is traded, released, retires or contract comes up.

A Franchise Player is not mandatory.  If for some reason you do not want to use the option then you do not have to.  Please make note of this to the Commissioner.  Simply state "No Franchise Player".

4.  RosterLimit: *IMPORTANT* During the season every team must maintain a 53 man roster.  Without this rule the salary cap would simply be too easy to circumvent.  Obviously roster size will temporarily fluctuate with player transactions but to play in an LFL regular season or post-season game your team must have 53 players.

4.a. Injured Reserve: Once a player has been placed on injured reserve his salary is removed from the total salary of the team and does not count towards the salary cap. A player must be at least an O-7 injury and once on the IR will remain there the entire season including the playoffs.

5.Holdouts: A player that is at least 4 yrs in experience and is underpaid in comparison to his stats and ratings may choose to "holdout" for more money.  This determination is generated randomly by the FPSGM utility.  They are not UFA's and are still owned by the original team.  They either re-sign at their newly generated salary, get cut, or are traded.  Their new contract length will be the standard 3 years in length.

6.Exclusive Rights Free Agents (EFA's): A EFA is essentially a holdout but they will always have 3 years or less experience.  Like holdouts you may resign them, cut them, or trade their rights to another team.  An EFA's new contract will also depend on his experience level.  Their new contract will be whatever number of years required to reach their restricted free agent year (3rd year ofexperience).  For example, a EFA with 2 years experience would receive a new 1 year contract if you chose to resign him.  An EFA with 1 year of experience would receive a new 2 year contract.  Finally, an EFA with 2years experience would receive a new 1 year contract.

7.  SalaryCap:  This year's (2024) salary cap will be set at $55.5 million.  Teams may not exceed the salary cap for any reason. Trades or Free Agent signings which result in a team exceeding the salary cap will be rejected.  All team payrolls will be updated weekly and posted to the website by the Commissioner.

8.  Player Salaries and Cap Dispersal: All free agent salaries will be determined by a formula that factors in statistics 1st and ratings 2nd.  These free agent salaries are computed immediately following the Grail Game.

8a.  The following shows how contracts are dispersed throughout the life of the contracts.  This shows a percentage ofthe total contract which is applied toward the salary cap each season.
     3 year deals - 33%, 33%, 34%
     2 year deals - 50%, 50%

8b. ***NOTE***: If a player is an unsigned FA, his salary may go down. He expects less in an attempt to 'hook on' with a team. The same thing happens during the season. If a player is released and then signed by another team, he signs for less.

9.  Trading: A traded player's new team accepts all current salary contracts.

10.  The College Draft:  Incoming college players will be paid according to their draft position.  The draft pick salary list (these are subject to inflation every year) is as follows:

. Claiming Free Agents(during season): All FA signings must be sent to the Commissioner using email.  The deadline for having claims in is every Monday 8am EST. The Commissioner will then complete the transactions on the league files and upload them to the LFL website by early Monday morning.

If two or more owners claim the same player, the team with the lowest winning percentage will receive that player. If both teams have the same win percentage then the power poll (on the team standings page) will be used to break the tie.  If still tied after win % and power poll comparison then the free agent will be awarded to the team with the lowest roster strength, using RAFIE'S to determine roster strength.

The salary necessary to sign a free agent is shown on the Team Payrolls page.  All free agents signed after the start of the season will receive contract long enough to take them to their next FA year.

12.  Releasing Players: Teams may waive any player at any time. The waived player then becomes part of the free agent pool.  Contracts in the LFL are NOT guaranteed. Once a player is released you are free of his salary and his contract is voided. The only exception to this is FA contracts offered to another teams FA during the bidding process. These contracts are guaranteed by the bidding team for one season.

13.  Player Contracts:The LFL uses a preset Free Agent Classification system which determines when a player is eligible for Free Agency based on their experience. Generally, all new contracts(except free agents signed during the season) are set to 3 years in length with the salary being the same for all 3 years.

14.  Releasing Free Agents into the Free Agent Draft Pool: This Article may seem confusing the first time you read it but just relax, it is really fairly simple and if you have any questions about it simply email the Commissioner.  The following 3 steps illustrate how owners select and release their Free Agents for the LFL FreeAgent Draft each season:

Step#1.   Commissioner will post Free Agent List -Every season before the college and free agent drafts, each club will have to release a certain # of free agents into the free agent draft pool. Each club isallowed to protect 60% of their eligible free agents. For example: If the Ottawa Rough Riders had 10 eligible free agents they would be allowed to protect 6 of them.The Commissioner will post to the website, prior to the free agent draft, a list of each team's free agents (both restricted and unrestricted) and how many players each team can protect.

Step#2   Teams compile Free Agent Release Lists -  Once you know how many players your team must release you then compile a Free Agent Release List using the parameters outlined in the paragraph below:

There are Resticted and Unrestricted FA.  Each team must release at least 1 player from each group and at least 1 player per position (when applicable). For example: If the Ottawa Rough Riders had to release 4 players thenthey would have to release at least 1 restricted and unrestricted FA.  They would also have to release 1 player from 4 different positions.  (The only exception to this is when you have to release more players than you have positions.  If Ottawa had to release 4 players and they only had free agents in 3 different positions then they would be allowed to release more than 1 player at 1 position)

Positions for Free Agency aredefined as follows:












This means that all of your players fall into one of the above position groups.  This way an owner cannot abuse the system.  Without this in place an owner could abuse position switches prior to free agency.  For example, an owner could have a great HB and a poor FB eligible for free agency.  If he was forced to release one of them he could switch his HB to FB just for the draft and then release the poor FB. He would then meet the release requirement of '1 player per position' if FB andHB were treated as separate positions.  This obviously is an abuse of the system so by treating HB and FB as just RB it alleviates that problem.

Basically you cannot release more than 1 player at 1 position or 1 player in an experience grouping.  The only exception to the rule is if a team does not have an eligible free agent in one experience grouping or position then 2 or more players from the same experience group or 2 or more players from the same position can be released.

**Note**- Free agents who are protected by their teams automatically receive new 3 year contracts with the salary being their newly generated salary for each of the 3years.

Once this step is complete you are ready to send your list to the Commissioner. The list of unprotected free agents will be released into the free agent draft pool and will be available for the FA Draft.  After they are drafted they receive new 3 year contracts with the salary being their newly generated salary for each of the 3 years.

15. Bidding on Rival teams Unrestricted Free Agents (Clarified.....maybe)

At the end of each season, but before the FA releases, each team will have a chance to offer a contract to one other unrestricted FA. This offer will be in the form of an email sent to the commish. Once the bidding is finished the commish will let the affected teams know which players were offered contracts and the amount. The affected team then has the right to either match the offer of let the player sign with the other team.

If the player re-signs with his original team it will be a typical 3 year contract.  However that player cannot be traded or released until after the first regular season game.

If the player signs with the other team it will be a 3 year contract, with the first year guaranteed. If the player is released or traded the team will still have to pay his salary. The last 2 years will be a typical non-guaranteed salary. The team that loses the player counts him toward their 40% to release.

Once a player is signed he is no longer considered a free agent and will not have to be released for any reason.