Madden 21: How the new CBA will impact EA’s NFL game – expanded playoffs, franchise tag, salary cap & more
With the new CBA coming in there will be some changes in to franchise mode in the next game.
It’s all change in the NFL with a new Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) that will shake Madden 21 up.
A new agreement between the players union and NFL team owners will see labor peace until 2030, but it will change the shape of the league.
How will these changes impact the next Madden game? Let’s take a look!
This is the biggest and most obvious change expected to be present in Madden 21.
As of the 2020 season, seven teams in each conference will be part of the playoffs.
This will mean that only the top-seeded team gets a bye in the first round with #2 playing #7, #3 plays #6 and #4 plays #5.
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This season just gone would have meant the Steelers and Rams would have had a shot in the playoffs. This is likely to be implemented in Madden 21 right away as it’s a straight forward initiative.
This change is another obvious addition to Madden 21.
Under the new CBA, the practice squads will go up by two players, as will the main roster and gameday rosters. Currently, Madden doesn’t separate a gameday roster but it will be nice to have a couple of extra spots in the main depth chart.
This won’t make or break the game, but the option to have a few skill players focused on certain plays or situations is a handy tool for players to unlock that extra 2%.
17 game season
The plan for the CBA is that in 2021 the NFL will have the option of replacing one of the four preseason games with an extra game in the regular season. The season would then be 17 games long.
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As this is due to be in 2021 it will be up to EA Sports whether they make this part of Madden 21. They have previous for including stadium moves that were due for future seasons. The difference is that the 17-game season isn’t guaranteed but is highly likely.
It could be a cool addition to the Franchise Mode to include owners’ votes. Fans have been asked for more immersive gameplay in Madden for a while, and NBA 2K has shown the way with annual owners votes the player can be a part of or overrule, and completely change the rules of the league.
This will have a minimal impact on Madden depending on how gameplay changes. Based on the current model, there is only one tag in-game and that won’t change.
If they do change the game to reflect the complex financial models in the NFL then teams will only be able to use one of the two between the Franchise Tag and the Transition Tag.
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The bottom salaries will all go up but the salary cap is likely to reflect this. Likewise, if the season goes to 17 games, salaries are likely to receive a small bump to reflect this.