Hello, everybody. And welcome to another year of CAG Madden on Xbox One. Madden leagues on CAG have been very successful over the years, with a consistent league running for the past 7 years, and two leagues running simultaneously for several years.
With a few other leagues popping up with different settings (fantasy rosters, quicker advancements, etc), I figured going back to our roots and just calling this the Official CAG League made sense.
In that spirit, this will be a league FOR EVERYONE. I'm not going to so much worry about skill level as I am about keeping things competitive. And we can discuss ways to make sure that happens in the thread. I've got some ideas, but I'd like to hear input from everybody. Blowouts are uncomfortable for everyone. The more often we can avoid them, the better.
How To Sign Up
If you would like to be a part of this league, please read through the League Rules and Policies section below (yes, it's long...but every rule was put into place because someone demonstrated a need for having it...and everyone who joins is accountable for knowing them, so there are no "I didn't know" arguments).
Then, just post your info in the thread in the following format:
CAG Name | XBL Gamertag | Time Zone | General Availability
I'd like the league to be as self-sustaining as possible: no nonsense, no constant reminders to play right, a non-negotiable expectation to keep up with the thread, being responsive to PMs, etc. And if people show any difficulty sticking to that, they're gone. What I'd like to avoid is the whole mentality of caring more about winning than caring about playing right. Also, having so and so's friend's, brother's, uncle who likes Madden, but has no idea what this thread is or even what CAG is can be a hinderance more often than not. If you want to be a part of the league, be a part of the league.
Once again, this year, we will be changing a few policies and rules. First and foremost will be the return of the trade cap. Despite Madden's in-game salary cap and roster management system, it still left people too many loopholes when trading and/or signing superstar players. I can at least give EA credit for trying to incorporate team finances, but when people know they're dealing with a limited season league, it lets them know there are certain things they can take advantage of. So, definitely expect a limitation on trades per season and contract lengths. These policies will only be put in place to make for a more realistic league though...so hopefully most people won't have a problem with that.
Anybody who would like to play in this league, feel free to voice your interest, introduce yourself, weigh in on league policies, bounce around some ideas, etc. As always, with a new Madden, I'm hopeful that we'll continue to move in a positive direction and that this year's game will be the best ever! Thanks!
Releasing a Player From the Website
1. Log in
2. Click on "Team"
3. Find the player you want to cut
4. Click on him and choose "View Player"
5. Click "Take Action" and then choose "Release Player"
(Subject to Change)
Skill Level: All-Pro
Quarter Length: 5 minutes
Accelerated Clock: Off
Minimum Play Clock: Off
Game Speed: Normal
Player Progression Frequency: Every Week (this only affects CPU teams)
Coach Firing: Off
Game Play Tuning: Yes (allows us to adjust sliders)
Pre-existing Injuries: Off
Trade Deadline: On
Trade Type: Enable Human (I disabled CPU to CPU trades simply because based on the logic people have seen with CPU teams relocating, I don't trust them to make realistic trades)
Fill Roster: Off (meaning CPU won't sign players to fill your roster)
Re-Sign Players: Off (meaning CPU won't re-sign players for you)
Progress Players: Off (meaning CPU won't assign XP points for you)
Sign Offseason Free Agents: Off (meaning CPU won't sign free agents for you)
League Type: Coaches Only
Maximum Users: 32
League Rules and Policies (Subject to Change as New Game Info is Released)
A lot of this SHOULD go without saying, but yeah...it's better to be specific. In general, the rule is "Play like a real NFL coach would". This means you don't go for 4th downs on your end of the field. This applies until you get to the point that you think "If I don't make something happen now, this game is over." If you're losing 28-0 in the 2nd quarter, and have a 4th and 8 at your 46 yard line...it's not unreasonable to feel like you're at that point.
The flip side of that, say you don't convert the 4th down, your opponent is free to play however he wants in the 1st half. If he scores to go up 35-0 at halftime, he can feel free to put it in cruise control and run out the rest of the game. He might throw on 3rd down to keep the chains moving, but he shouldn't be airing it out with that big of a lead. That's exactly how an NFL coach would play it. I've always said, if you have a lead in the 2nd half, your objective should be to get the game over with as quickly as possible. That's what happens on Sunday. Running up the score will not be tolerated.
Two point conversions should not be attempted unless you're in a situation where the 2 points would bring you to within one score or tie the game if you're losing, or would reasonably solidify a small lead if you're winning (ie. If you're up 47-42, there's no difference between a 5 point lead and a 6 point lead, so you might as well go for 2).
If you're in a situation at the end of the game where an extra point would tie it, but a 2 point conversion would win it...that's your call. I've seen NFL coaches go both ways with it. If your opponent's offense/defense has been hot all day and you're nervous about playing for overtime, it's your call. But if you're curious about scoring the first TD of the game and going for a 2 point conversion...yeah...not allowed.
Running with the QB is generally ok. But there are certain strategies where it is cheap. You shouldn't be calling 5 wide streaks just so you can pull the defenders deep and then immediately take off running with the QB. That's cheesy as hell and is basically trying to game the system. If you see your opponent dropping 8 men back into coverage, and there's just nowhere to throw the ball, of course, you can take off. The other issue is sprinting backward 20 yards with your QB out of the snap. That's also not a realistic example of a "running QB". In general, the "play like a real NFL coach" rule applies here too.
Hurry up can be used in obvious comeback situations and during any 2 minute offensive situation. You can also use hurry up during any point during the game, you just can not use it on consecutive plays and you have to wait until the play clock is down to at least 25 seconds before you can snap the ball.
The only position that has any kind of subsititution limitation will be the QB. There was an issue a few years back with people using the hot swap method to sub QB's in and out without any warning to the opponent. This was basically done to use an accurate QB on passing plays and a fast QB for QB runs. This was quickly deemed as being a cheap tactic.
An argument was made of "Just pay attention to the QB's jersey number!", but what that doesn't account for is that in real life, the coach sees what personnel his opponent has on the field BEFORE making his play call. In Madden, you're left with audibling and trying to adjust individual coverage all before the ball is snapped.
The policy that was used was that you could only swap out a QB at the beginning of a drive, UNLESS you paused the game and sent your opponent a message saying "subbing QB". Since the game doesn't do any better of a job this year of notifying people of personnel changes before they pick their defensive play, I think we should continue with the same policy. This may seem like a hassle, but if it's such a vital part of your strategy to change out your QB in the middle of a drive, then you'll have to get used to it.
Wildcat formations are excluded from this rule since the game does show "Wildcat" when one of those plays is selected.
Offense in Madden can be very overpowered at times, and there are numerous "go to" plays and positions that are extremely difficult to defend. In an effort to curb this a bit, it will not be allowed to move an offensive player out of his natural position on the depth chart. This includes putting RBs at WR, TEs at WR, WRs at TE, etc. In addition to the potential mismatches this would create, the main reason this policy is necessary is because the game continues to recognize the players' natural position, rather than where he's being lined up. What this gives you is 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB "formations" which give the appearance of a running play...but end up essentially being 4 WR shotgun plays. Such gimmicks are very deceptive and not in the spirit of this league.
Having RBs/TEs above any WR at the WR position on your depth chart will not be allowed. I am willing to concede that due to injury or whatever, RBs/TEs may need to fill in at the bottom of the depth chart. However, this is not an excuse to carry only 3 WRs. It will be pretty obvious if someone is trying to abuse this policy.
As for moving players around on defense, this is completely allowed, as the consequences generally don't have the potential to impact the game as severely. If you want to play a LB at DE, that's fine. Or a CB at FS. The advantages to be gained on defense are not nearly as severe as moving offensive players around.
Leave it to EA to make a feature MORE complicated. In years past, when your opponent selected an onside kick, the game would show "onside kick" as their play choice, giving you a heads up, and allowing you to select "onside recover" to be ready for it. This year, the game just says "kickoff" no matter what type of kick they have chosen. What this is going to lead to is people coming out in a regular kick return formation and being surprised to see that their opponent is in fact going for an onside kick. If this happens, you can either burn a timeout or audible to an onside kick return (X and then LB). If you're the kicking team, and you see your opponent is not ready for an onside kick, give them a chance to audible. Rushing onside kicks because you "caught somebody by surprise" will not be tolerated.
Furthermore, you should ONLY be attempting an onside kick if you're losing in the 4th quarter anyway. Yes, some coaches may try it at the start of the 2nd half or whatever, but even in real life that comes off a dick move...and considering the issues Madden has with them, I think we should just save it for the end of the game.
Again, something that EA programmed poorly. Due to the way the AI reacts to squib kicks, it makes it unrealistically easy for the kicking team to recover them. There are only a few instances with a squib kick should be used to begin with (ie. end of the half with little time left). You are only allowed to attempt a squib kick at those times, and you are required to kick it straight down the middle of the field. If for some strange reason, the kicking team does recover the kick, they are REQUIRED to punt the ball out of the end zone on the next play. The only exception to this is if the receiving team recovers it and then fumbles trying to return it. But nobody should be attempting a squib kick with the intention of recovering it. This is completely unrealistic.
Another thing I want to add, NO SHOWBOATING. This is the Gentlemen's League afterall. Have respect for your opponent and act like you've been there before. Yes, it might be cool to flip into the endzone and see all the cool little animations, but save it for offline. In a friendly league where people just want to have a good time, rubbing in the fact that you scored on somebody just isn't cool and just causes tension.
EA's servers are often unreliable, and there are times when two users just can't complete a game to save their life.
If a game you're playing disconnects post in this thread immediately letting everyone know what the score, quarter, and situation was when the game dropped. Whose "fault" the disconnect was and whether or not the outcome of the game was essentially decided will determine how to proceed.
It won't be a perfect science, but in general, people know if there was any chance for a comeback. The losing team should definitely have a say in the matter, but it will ultimately be up to the community to make a ruling. Disconnects are extremely unfortunate when they happen, but we'll just have to try to handle them the best we can.
This will be the criteria for disconnected games
*Any game that disconnects in the 1st half should be replayed
*Any close game that disconnects at any time should be replayed
*Any game that is in the 2nd half that is well in hand should have the score, quarter, and situation posted in the thread to determine if replaying is necessary
Any member discovered to be intentionally causing disconnects is subject to multiple strikes and/or immediate removal from the league
Closing out games the right way seems to be a difficult thing to interpret for people in Madden This is kind of where an "enforced logic" comes in. I feel like we have to restrict a lot of stuff so people don't "play like a video game", and actually use football logic. In real life, the reason for running the ball is to chew clock. Coaches don't risk a pass because it could either A) lead to a turnover or B) result in an incompletion which stops the clock. If you're up by 21 in the 4th quarter, you should be trying to do everything you can to keep that clock moving....and at that point, punting isn't the worst thing in the world should it happen.
I don't know why a lot of people seem to have trouble grasping it, but if you kill some clock with a 21 point lead in the 4th, and are forced to punt...and then your opponent comes down the field and scores a TD to cut your lead to 14...start running your offense again. The idea of chewing the clock doesn't mean that you have to let your opponent come back and tie the game or something.
Obviously, it starts to become a gray area, but to me, a comfortable lead is 3 scores. Two scores can happen pretty quickly (TD + onside kick). So, to me it wouldn't be reasonable to get upset at somebody for throwing the ball (on any down) with a 2 score lead. I guess the idea there is that you're still trying to score to put the game away. And with a 3 score lead...you're trying to preserve the lead and get the game over with (not saying you can't do that with less than a 3 score lead...you've just got a much smaller margin for error).
And as always...in the 3rd quarter, there is no expectation. The variable factor here is time. If there's time to come back, you should keep playing your game. But once you get to a comfortable spot in the 4th quarter where you can whittle down the clock and dictate the end of the game, that's all you should be trying to do.
There will be times during this franchise that you will have to play the CPU. Whether it's because that team is currently without an owner or the owner is just unavailable to play, these games should be approached in the same manner as games against a human opponent. General expectations are that CPU games are "easy wins". It is also acknowledged that CPU teams do not manage the clock well and will frequently turn the ball over when they are behind. Of course, you can run your offense and play the game normally. But once the 4th quarter begins, if you have more than a 2 score lead, you should be running the ball and chewing up clock. If you are a running team, you should also strongly consider bringing in your backups to not only avoid accusation...but injury as well. Running up the score and mining XP for your players will not be tolerated and anyone discovered to be doing so will receive a strike.
The league will advance every 4 days. Games take about 45 minutes to play, so hopefully playing once every 4 days won't be too demanding for anyone. This year, however, in addition to playing your games, you'll also have other activities that you can do. You can practice with your team, scout college players, add XP to your players, and even spend time seeing who's on the trade block and reading the latest league news. EA has added two features this year that will hopefully make advancing a smoother process. The first is allowing each person to mark when they're ready to advance. After you've played your game for the week and have completed all the team activities you wish to complete, please mark that you're ready to advance. This won't prevent us from advancing once we've reached a deadline, but if there was ever a week where everybody finished early, it would be great to be able to see that everyone is ready to move forward. The other feature is the ability to put your team on autopilot. If you're ever going to be away for a vacation or something, definitely post in the thread to let everyone know, but you won't have to vacate your team like was necessary last year. You can just put them on autopilot and retake control when you return.
In the first season, no team will be allowed to sign a free agent until we reach the designated period (most likely Week 4). At that time, we will use a draft style system according to team record (worst to best), allowing each team to sign one free agent. In the offseason, free agency uses a bidding system, which works much better and allows multiple teams to make offers on a player. It's just too bad EA doesn't use this system during the season as well.
*All teams must carry 53 players on their roster during the regular season.
When signing free agents during the season, it's a very simple process. You only can only give them what they are asking for. They all want one year contracts for a set amount of money. You offer it to them, and they're yours. In the offseason, however, multiple teams can negotiate with free agents, offering varying contract lengths and dollar amounts. In this interest of keeping this league as fair and realistic as possible, we have two policies for contract offers.
1. When negotiating with your own free agents (ie. players who are currently on your team), you may offer them any length of contract for any dollar amount that you wish. It's YOUR job to make sure that the deal makes sense and doesn't bankrupt your team.
2. Once players hit the open market, you may not offer a free agent a longer contract than what he is asking for. You can offer less years than what he is asking for, but not more. You may offer any dollar amount you wish though.
For example - If a player is requesting a 5 year contract, you MAY offer him anywhere between 1-5 years...for any dollar amount. You MAY NOT, however, offer him a six or seven year contract.
Unfortunately, Madden doesn't have realistic contract restructuring. However, what people have discovered is that you can cut a player, and then immediately resign him without any negotiating or resistence of any kind. The problem that this creates is that it allows people to acquire or hold onto star players without paying them the actual salary that they would command on the open market.
As such, this practice is not allowed. If you wish to "restructure" a player's contract, you may cut him...but you may not resign him for 2 weeks of in game time, during which, any other team is free to sign him. This will serve as a "waiver period" and will ensure that all teams are handling their finances and free agent acquisitions as realistically as possible.
We will be bringing back the trading cap this year. Trading is still allowed, but teams will be required to adhere to the following limits in an effort to maintain a more realistic league experience.
5 trades per season,, 3 core players traded away max
90+ Player = 2 core players
80-89 Player = 1 core player
1st round pick = 1 core player
Trades with CPU teams are at least going to be considered this year. But they will be heavily scrutinized by the Trade Committee since the CPU can't speak for itself. All trades must still make sense and will be reviewed by a five man trade committee to make sure they seem fair. Committee members may not vote on their own trades or the trades of any of their family members, and an alternate will be used in those instances. We all understand that a team's finances must be taken into account this year. Trades may not always be about skill for skill anymore, and unloading a big contract in an effort to clear cap space is a valid reason to do a trade. Each trade is different and needs to be viewed on its own merit. If you have discussed a trade with another owner and have come to an agreement, please PM the trade proposal to CAGLeagueSports. Trades should be posted in the following format and include the relevant attributes depending on the position of the players involved. When trading for draft picks, please list both the round and overall pick number (if known...such as: 2nd round/57th pick).
Team Name Sends
Contract Info: total years, years remaining, salary for each remaining year (ie. 2013: $X.XM, 2014: $X.XXM, etc), signing bonus
Relevant Attributes For Position
Team Cap Space
Team Name Sends
Contract Info: total years, years remaining, salary for each remaining year (ie: 2013: $X.XM, 2014: $X.XXM, etc), signing bonus
Relevant Attributes For Position
Team Cap Space
Relevant Attributes By Position
QB: Short, Medium, Long Throw Accuracy, Throwing Power, Awareness, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
RB: Speed, Acceleration, Elusiveness, Carry, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
WR: Speed, Catch, Catch in Traffic, Route Running, Release, Awareness plus anything you think is useful to make your case
TE: Run Blocking, Catch, Catch in Traffic, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
O-Line: Run Blocking, Pass Blocking, Impact Blocking, Strength, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
D-Line: Block Shedding, Tackle, Power Move, Finesse Move, Strength, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
Linebacker: Pursuit, Tackle, Speed, Play Recognition, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
D-Back: Man Coverage, Zone Coverage, Press Coverage, Play Recognition, Speed, plus anything you think is useful to make your case
Kicker/Punter: Power and Accuracy
We will be following the official NFL trading deadline this year, which typically is after Week 8.
The only other restriction on trading is that any player that is newly acquired by a team must be on his new team for 6 weeks before being eligible to be moved again. This applies to both players acquired through trades and via free agency.
*All teams must carry 53 players on their roster during the regular season.
The only way this league can be successful is by everyone working together and staying active. It is the responsibility of every member to keep up with the thread and to contact their opponent to arrange a time to play. While people may have different ways of being reached, the league's preferred method of contact is through private message on this website. If you've messaged your opponent and haven't heard anything in a day or two, post in the thread and let me know. Good communication is essential to avoiding problems and solving any that may arise.
Anyone who does something that is against league policy as stated in the OP, or does something that is deemed excessively dickish will receive a strike. Punishment will begin after the second strike and will double with each offence. Punishment will be as follows:
2 strikes = 1 game suspension
3 strikes = 2 game suspension
4 strikes = 4 game suspension
5 strikes = 8 game suspension
6 strikes = 16 game suspension (and you probably don't want to come back)
*suspensions must be served against human opponents
Strikes are permanent and carry over from season to season.
Basically, you get one freebie and after that, you have to pay the piper. The consequences may seem stiff, but I firmly believe that it is not that difficult to play the game with respect and decency. If it's something you have to actively think about, then you might want to re-evaluate some things.
*Commissioner reserves the right to immediately ban any player who goes out of his way to cause trouble and undermine the enjoyment of the league.
Just like last year, for people who hate fun videos, here's the list. Admittedly, the video would have been a lot more exciting if we had a full league, but I did what I could to build the suspense. And the second half of the video is definitely more exciting than the first half. Just the way the teams broke down this year, I guess.
Members Team | CAG Name (click to send private message) | XBL Gamertag | Time Zone | Availability Any team listed as *OPEN* may be taken
Buffalo Bills | *OPEN*
Miami Dolphins | siradam134 | feroci0us1 | ET | ?
New England Patriots X | LVPatriots | MurdaModeLV | ET | ?
New York Jets | *OPEN*
Baltimore Ravens | Mog3526 | Mog3526 | ET | ?
Cincinnati Bengals | *OPEN*
Cleveland Browns | MrExtreme08 | MrExtreme08 | ET | ?
Pittsburgh Steelers | Heidenreich | Jcariello | ET | ?
Houston Texans | Tanabeo | Tanabeo | CT | M-F: After 10:30PM CT (possibly earlier by appt), Sa-Su: very flexible
Indianapolis Colts | soliddragon | soliddragon | ET | Weeknights after 9:30PM ET
Jacksonville Jaguars | Panoramic15 | RevCottonMarcus | ET | flexible
Tennessee Titans | *OPEN*
Denver Broncos | KasterDB | KasterDB | ET | Weekdays: After 7PM or 9PM, Weekends: flexible
Kansas City Chiefs | *OPEN*
Oakland Raiders | IzzyDigilino | DaTravistyAMG | ET | M-T: After 9PM, F: After 6PM, Sa, After 9PM, Su: flexible
San Diego Chargers | *OPEN*
Dallas Cowboys | *OPEN*
New York Giants | *OPEN*
Philadelphia Eagles | *OPEN*
Washington Redskins | *OPEN*
Chicago Bears | *OPEN*
Detroit Lions | *OPEN*
Green Bay Packers | Matt Young | The Matt Young | PT | ?
Minnesota Vikings | *OPEN*
Atlanta Falcons | *OPEN*
Carolina Panthers | *OPEN*
New Orleans Saints | *OPEN*
Tampa Bay Buccaneers | *OPEN*
Arizona Cardinals | *OPEN*
San Francisco 49ers | *OPEN*
Seattle Seahawks | dgillz11 | d gillz | ET | Nights between 8PM ET and 11PM ET
St. Louis Rams | *OPEN*
*X = Strike
Season 1 - Houston Texans (Tanabeo)
Season 1 - Houston Texans (Tanabeo)
Season 2 - New Orleans Saints (LVPatriots)
Season 3 - Houston Texans (Tanabeo)
Season 1 - Buffalo Bills (Chetty12) Season 2 - Buffalo Bills (Chetty12)
Season 3 - Carolina Panthers (deuce20602)
Season 1 - Baltimore Ravens (augmog)
Season 2 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (hemingway012)
Season 3 - Houston Texans (Doomtime)
Season 4 - Arizona Cardinals (Chetty12)
Season 1 - Kansas City Chiefs (Doomtime) Season 2 - San Francisco 49ers (Mr Grand Cru) Season 3 - Detroit Lions (sprice8688) Season 4 - Detroit Lions (sprice8688) Season 5 - Detroit Lions (sprice8688)
Season 1 - Oakland Raiders (Doomtime) Season 2 - Denver Broncos (augmog) Season 3 - Denver Broncos (augmog)
Season 1 - New York Giants (BigAT) Season 2 - Carolina Panthers (Mr Grand Cru) Season 3 - New York Giants (BigAT)
Season 1 - Tennessee Titans (Soodmeg)
Season 1 - Tennessee Titans (n8rockerasu)
Season 2 - Tennessee Titans (n8rockerasu)
Season 3 - New York Jets (HooRox)
Season 1 - Miami Dolphins (Chetty12)
Season 2 - Detroit Lions (perdition(troy)
Season 3 - Denver Broncos (Dark Rider)
Season 1 - Green Bay Packers (pitfallharry219)
Season 2 - Green Bay Packers (pitfallharry219)
Season 3 - New York Giants (lvpatriots)
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