28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

Madden 21 Franchise Mode: Best & worst cap situations - Patriots, Eagles, Falcons & more

Madden 21 ratings week is behind us, and the new X-Factor and Superstar Abilities have been announced.

Attention naturally moves to Franchise Mode, and with the #FixMaddenFranchise movement, it has had more focus than ever.

As we get towards the launch of the new game, Franchise players furiously debate which are the best and worst teams to take over from a financial point of view.

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Lets dive in!


Managing your cap space

This is one of the best parts of Franchise Mode.

Taking financial responsibility of an NFL franchise is no easy thing. You have to balance talent and ability with the available funds to pay them.

The ideal scenario is to have young and emerging talents that are due to get blockbuster deals, but you haven't had to pay them yet.

madden 20 salaries
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LOOK AHEAD: Think a year out at a time. Mahomes got a mega deal this offseason.


The cap is designed to spread the best players around the league, but teams that get it wrong or right with their big deals can change the course of the franchise.

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Lets look at the best and worst teams.

For this we are looking at 2021 cap space, this is what you will be left to sort out in Madden 21 franchise mode when you finish your first season.

These numbers are from Spotrac and focused on the real NFL, Madden 21 could have slightly different cap numbers for teams.

The Best Cap Situations

These are teams with plenty of space to re-sign their star players and also bring in some new talent.


Indianapolis Colts: +$78m space

Things look good for the Colts. They have plenty of space, and this includes a trade for Philip Rivers which means in the short term you aren't needing to add an expensive QB to this calculation.

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Re-signings need to be planned for TY Hilton, Malik Hooker and Ryan Kelly. These shouldn't break the bank completely and you should be heading into free agency with the scope to add more talent.

New York Jets: +$67m space

After trading away Jamal Adams the Jets have lost a star player but have freed up some cash as well as loaded up on draft picks which will be on cheaper rookie deals.

rsz m20 tile superstars adams
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MOVING ON: Adams had made some space


Le'Veon Bell is taking a large chunk of cap and might be an early decision to move him on.

Outside of Avery Williamson there aren't any massive re-signings needed and this young team is one for the future.

New England Patriots: +$50m space

A team in transition, the Patriots have moved a lot of players on and have that dead cap being released.

But the aging team needs replenishing with this cap space. You will have an early decision to make on re-signing LG Joe Thuney who will command decent money in a league desperate for OL.

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The arrival of Cam Newton will be a relative unknown. How Madden 21 will deal with his performance and demands will be something to look out for.


The Worst Cap Situations

If you take over any of these teams you will need to make some tough decisions to trade away or cut some of your best talent.

Philadelphia Eagles: (-$91m) space

This is going to be a huge challenge for Madden 21 to deal with. In real life, the Eagles use complex restructuring deals to keep afloat, but these are not possible in game.

Hefty deals for Fletcher Cox, Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffrey and Zach Ertz make it very difficult to afford to pay anyone else.

fletcher cox madden 20
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MONSTER: Cox is elite. but expensive

The best option for an Eagles owner in franchise is to cut or trade nearly all the stars, swallow your lumps for 2 seasons and try to reset with draft picks.


New Orleans Saints: (-$83m) space

Drew Brees has been a great servant of the Saints, but his $36m 2021 deal ties the team's finances in knots.

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He becomes a prime candidate for being cut once you get to the off-season with a $15m cap saving on the table.

Cameron Jordan, Michael Thomas, Terron Armstead and even Taysom Hill are due to make mega money in 2021. This stops you being able to re-sign the likes of Alvin Kamara.

The Saints are a season or two away from a full reset, just as Brees will likely retire.

Atlanta Falcons: (-$46m) space

Another NFC South team hamstrung by its QB. Matt Ryan counts nearly $41m against the cap in 2021.

matt ryan madden 20
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TOUGH CALL: Matt Ryan won't be worth $41m a year

With star players Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett also on big deals, it all adds up to a headache.

Alex Mack, Todd Gurley, Keanu Neal, and Takk McKinley are all looking for deals in the first year making this a tough situation to manage.

The Full List

With constant trades and re-signings these cap lists are very dynamic, but planning for the 2021 and 2022 seasons now is vital to managing cap successfully in Franchise Mode.

Rank Team Avg Age Cap Space
1Indianapolis Colts25.1$78,358,662
2New York Jets25.6$67,352,994
3New England Patriots26.4$49,955,245
4Los Angeles Chargers25.2$48,621,863
5Jacksonville Jaguars25.0$36,689,751
6Washington Football Team25.7$26,272,562
7Cincinnati Bengals25.3$24,499,949
8Arizona Cardinals25.5$21,932,847
9Baltimore Ravens25.8$18,272,168
10Tampa Bay Buccaneers25.7$14,184,907
11Carolina Panthers25.4$11,905,648
12Seattle Seahawks25.6$11,415,732
13Denver Broncos25.6$7,692,272
14San Francisco 49ers26.3$6,298,227
15Miami Dolphins25.0$3,796,851
16New York Giants25.2$2,521,004
17Cleveland Browns25.4$1,548,528
18Detroit Lions25.8-$1,798,576
19Tennessee Titans26.1-$4,703,936
20Buffalo Bills26.4-$7,606,450
21Dallas Cowboys25.8-$7,794,623
22Los Angeles Rams25.3-$9,649,529
23Green Bay Packers25.7-$9,698,376
24Chicago Bears26.7-$11,616,189
25Pittsburgh Steelers26.3-$16,390,848
26Las Vegas Raiders26.0-$16,494,121
27Minnesota Vikings25.5-$18,682,623
28Houston Texans26.3-$23,672,815
29Kansas City Chiefs26.2-$32,053,452
30Atlanta Falcons26.4-$45,947,524
31New Orleans Saints27.1-$82,836,434
32Philadelphia Eagles26.1-$90,912,259

Data from Spotrac - https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cap/2021/

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