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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|2||New York Jets||25.6||$67,352,994|
|3||New England Patriots||26.4||$49,955,245|
|4||Los Angeles Chargers||25.2||$48,621,863|
|6||Washington Football Team||25.7||$26,272,562|
|10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25.7||$14,184,907|
|14||San Francisco 49ers||26.3||$6,298,227|
|16||New York Giants||25.2||$2,521,004|
|22||Los Angeles Rams||25.3||-$9,649,529|
|23||Green Bay Packers||25.7||-$9,698,376|
|26||Las Vegas Raiders||26.0||-$16,494,121|
|29||Kansas City Chiefs||26.2||-$32,053,452|
|31||New Orleans Saints||27.1||-$82,836,434|
Data from Spotrac - https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cap/2021/
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