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2023 Forum Mock: Rules Thread


Staff Member

Free Agents List
State of the Franchise
Big Board

Please clear out and check your PM Inboxes often as you will be using them to discuss trades as well as other aspects of the game.

Please note that upcoming dates have yet to be decided on, and rules are subject to live-tweaking.

2023 Forum Mock Commissioner Council (CoCo)

These three members govern the process. If you have any questions, please direct said questions at these members.
  • RavensMania
  • Truth
  • Simba
  • DaCiderEarl
The rules for the game are as follows:

The 2023 Salary Cap shall be set just above the actual NFL Salary Cap (225,000,000). Our salary cap will be set at 225 Stars. (1 Star = $1 Million)

You cannot borrow from future cap space or trade future draft selections.

Every amount is rounded to the nearest Half Star, or $.5 Million, after the initial calculation.

For example, $1.7 million - $1.35 million = $350,000. 350,000 rounds up to 500,000, which is .5 Stars.

Picking Teams

Once the spots are filled in the signup thread, we will begin to select teams. Teams are chosen via a draft-like method. One of the CoCo members will use a random number generator to create a sequence, and the numbers we’ve signed up will determine our placement in the mini-draft. You will have 12 hours to select your team. If you expect to be indisposed, please forward your list to other members and let them post for you in order to speed up the process. Once everyone has a team, the game will begin.

No trades or moves will be allowed until every member has selected a team and no moves are official until after the notice is given, when all of the required threads are posted.

Draft Values

A standard draft class consisting of 7 draft selections with one in every round required 9.5 Stars to be set aside. The total value is based on the following:

§ 1st round = 3 Stars

§ 2nd round = 1.5 Stars

§ 3rd round - 7th round = 1.0 Star each

This calculation lets you know how many Stars are required to account for the rookie class.

For example, Chicago has one pick in the following rounds: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th. They have two picks in the following rounds: 4th, and 5th. They will be required to set aside 10.5 Stars for their draft class. If they acquire other picks or trade away picks, the number of stars will change accordingly.


Franchise Tag Costs: (Exclusive Tag - Based on average of Top 5 contracts per position)


Franchise Tag Costs: (Non Exclusive)

QB - 32.5 Stars
RB - 10.0 Stars
WR - 19.5 Stars
TE - 11.5 Stars
OL - 18.0 Stars
DT - 19.0 Stars
DE - 19.0 Stars
LB - 21.0 Stars
CB - 18.0 Stars
S - 14.5 Stars
K/P - 5.5 Stars

Transition Tag Costs:

QB - 29.5 Stars
RB - 8.5 Stars
WR - 18.0 Stars
TE - 9.0 Stars
OL - 16.5 Stars
DT - 16.0 Stars
DE - 17.5 Stars
LB - 17.5 Stars
CB - 16.0 Stars
S - 12.0 Stars
K/P - 5.0 Stars

Players franchised for the second straight season cost 120% of the normal rate.

Other special franchise tag rules (i.e. Suh in 2015) will be implemented as well.

You can only use either the franchise tag or the transition tag. You cannot use both.

The tag does not become "guaranteed" until that the beginning of the first free agency period. If you trade/cut your tagged player before free agency begins, you can recoup full savings of the tag. If the player is moved after free agency has begun, you only recoup half of your savings.

The transition tag functions akin to the NFL rules. Once tagged, the player will be placed into the RFA pool for other teams to potentially bid on. The RFA rules are explained below.

Restricted Free Agency

Place a tender on all your RFA you wish to keep. There are three levels of tenders available to every member. The tenders are:

§ 1st round = 6.0 Stars

§ 2nd round = 4.5 Stars

Original Round = 2.5 Stars

A specific time 24 hour time period will be scheduled for the entire RFA pool. Any team can bid on RFAs in this time period. All bids must be greater than that of the tender value. Within 24 hours following the end of the RFA bidding, the player's current team then can decide to match the contract, retaining the player at the bid amount. The team bidding for the player cannot counter the match.

However, if the RFA bid is unmatched, the bidding team obtains the player at the bid amount. The bidding team also surrenders a draft selection of the same value as the tender placed on the player. The original draft selection will be

If a former UDFA receives an original round tender, no additional compensation will be rewarded or lost should the contract be either matched or unmatched, respectively.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

ERFAs cost 1.0 Stars each and are incontestable by other teams.

Cutting Players

Go to Spotrac.com and find a player’s salary for the 2023 season.

How to Navigate Spotrac Website:

§ Click on “NFL” and select your team under “Team Salary Caps” (i.e. Baltimore Ravens)

§ Find your player (i.e., Kevin Zeitler)

Cap Saved = Cap Hit - Dead Money

When you release a player, your team incurs all applicable bonuses. Therefore, cutting Zeitler would save 6.5 Stars in cap space.

*NOTE: Only round the final number. Use the entire figures when calculating. Once the amount saved is calculated, round said amount to the nearest 0.5 Stars, with 1.0 being the minimum.

Once the released player becomes a UFA, he is added to the FA pool. Please try to make your cuts before the FA periods have begun so we know which players are available and can add them to the list of available FAs.

If a player is released after their respective FA period has begun, they can be signed during the Final Free Agency period, which occurs after the draft.

We will have a thread for cuts and re-signings to make the FA lists easier to update. Please post every cut and re-signing in this thread as well as within your SoF page.

Please use the following format when releasing players:


[Position] [Player] - Cap Saved


The Baltimore Ravens release:

OG Kevin Zeitler - 6.5 Stars

June 1st Exemption and Restructuring

Each team is allowed to make ONE CUT or TRADE in which only the base salary factored into the equation, ignoring the dead money. For example, cutting Ronnie Stanley normally would add cap due to dead money. However, using the June 1st exemption will recoup his entire base salary of $12.5 million, ignoring the dead cap, meaning that the savings would be 12.5 Stars instead of losing 12.0 Stars. This can be applied retroactively to a previous move.

Teams will be allowed to implement ONE exemption and restructure ONE contract from their roster. The base salary of said contract will be reduced to 50% of its current value. However, there is a ceiling cap on savings. No restructure can incur savings over 30% of the cap hit of the player.

In order to qualify, the player must be in at least the second year of their current contract but not in their last. The player also cannot be on their rookie contract. After the calculation, please add the total saved into the "Restructure" field in the State of the Franchise (SoF).

* Players that have already been restructured, can't be traded.


Cam Newton' 2019 Base Salary - $16,200,000
Cam Newton' 2019 Cap Hit - $23,200,000

16,200,000 ÷ 2 = 8,100,000
23,200,000 x 0.3 = 6,960,000

The lowest figure prevails, and since the base salary savings exceeds the ceiling cap, the Panthers would $6,960,000, or 7 Stars.


The team acquiring the player takes on only the value of his base salary.

To complete a trade, both parties are required to post in the trade thread. One side will provide the full details of the trade, and the other side will quote the post with a confirmation of agreement to the terms.


Baltimore Trades:

CB Brandon Carr (BAL saves 5 Stars, PHI gains 4.5 Stars)

Philadelphia Trades:

4th (25) round selection

Note: When you trade draft picks, the draft pick cap hit is not included in the trade. It is already factored in when you keep track of all you draft picks.

All selections must include the round and the pick number within said round. We will have a continuously-updated draft board, so this is an absolute must.

Make sure that every made move is immediately reflected in your State of the Franchise entry.

Free Agency:


Free Agency will be completely revamped this year in an effort to better simulate real-life FA conditions. The goal of this revamped process is to encourage maximum bids early, while still enabling you to fill a hole at a position if the bidding on a premier player rises above what you're willing to pay.

With the exception of the above restricted free agency process, all other free agents will be available in the below rounds.

Phase 1: Bids 12 stars and above, must hold the high bid for 24 hours to win the player
Phase 2: Bids 7 stars and above, must hold the high bid for 12 hours to win the player
Phase 3: Bids 3 stars and above, must hold the high bid for 12 hours to win the player
Phase 4: Bids 1 star and above, must hold the high bid for 8 hours to win the player

All free agent periods will open at 7pm EST. Dates for the above rounds will be confirmed at a later date.

In the new revamped free agency process, players will no longer be grouped by position. All players on the move tracker/free agent list document are eligible for bidding. There will be no set end time on the FA period. You simply have to hold the high bid for the allotted time mentioned above and you will win the player. Snipe bids, final five, etc. have all been removed from previous years.

Once the next round begins, no new players can be bid on in the previous round's thread. The previous round's thread will remain open only to conclude bidding on players that have not yet been held for the allotted time with no winner yet declared. Bids do not have to stay in the 7-12 star range for round 2, but must at least be a minimum of 7 to start. If a bidding war ensues and you wish to bid above 12 stars to sign a player, that is fine. The same rule applies to all successive rounds.

At the conclusion of the draft, there will be an additional period (Final Free Agency) where all players that remain unsigned are eligible. All bids, regardless of amount, will need to be held for 12 hours to win the player.

Bidding on Free Agents:

Given that the FM resets every season, all contracts are presented as one-year deals.

*You CANNOT bid on players without available cap space*

You must create cap space before placing the bid.
Should a team wish to bid on a player whom already has an active bid, they are required to search for the highest bid, quote it, and place a bid with a higher amount.

Additionally, player names must be spelled correctly, and the full teams names must be used. Failure to follow either of the guidelines will immediately nullify your bid.

General FA Rules:

Place ALL bids in the following format:

§ Team Name

§ Position / Free Agent Name

§ Bid (# of stars)


Baltimore Ravens

FS Tyrann Mathieu

15 Stars

NEW FOR 2023: Only 1 bid per post. Multiple bids in the same post will be invalidated.

Absolutely no discussions in the FA thread. Teams can bid any amount on any player but only in increments of 0.5 Stars, with the minimum bid being 1.0 star.

Editing posts is NOT permitted, and it carries a penalty. Any team caught with editing or deleting bids will be frozen from submitting new bids for 15 minutes. Deleting posts carries a similar penalty, a 15 minute sentence, but the penalty will be waved should the deleted post be resubmitted with the same monetary value.

Bid based only on what you wish to pay for the 2023 base salary (No signing bonuses, etc.).

FAs signed during FA can be released or traded afterwards; however, the team will incur a financial penalty by consuming half of their salary. For example, if a team signs a player for 2.5 Stars, they will only save 1.5 Stars upon releasing or trading them, with the second team taking on the remainder during the latter. Remember to round up. In the example above, the calculation is as follows: 2.5 ÷ 2 = 1.25, which rounds up to 1.5. The only exception comes for players signed for 1.0 Stars, who can be released or traded for full savings.

NFL Draft

Once it begins, a thread will be posted for the draft. The first post will be updated with all selections, as well as the big board.

Most importantly, there is a 12 hour time limit for each selection.

If you miss your deadline, the next team will be able to submit their selection immediately afterwards. If you fail to submit your selection by the time your next selection is on the clock, you are automatically skipped (Unless your 2nd team's selections immediately follows). The second skip will halve your allotted time from the original 12 hours to 6 hours. Each additional skip will halve the updated allotted amount. Should this become a perpetual issue, further actions may be taken against the team or its owner.

If we believe you to be intentionally stalling, we reserve the right to skip your pick at our discretion.

Please post your selections in the following format:

With the ____ pick in the ___ round of the 2023 Forum Draft, the [Team City and Name] select…


Player | Position | College

In order to speed up the process, please forward your draft board to other members to have the selection made on your behalf.

State of the Franchise Post

We've streamlined the State of the Franchise updating process by moving them to Google Sheets, found here. The new format will handle essentially all of the roster calculations for each team, eliminating most of the prior issues with user errors. Please use the total active contracts as your starting point. We will need email addresses for each user in order to grant editing privileges to their pages, which can be PM'd to us.

In order to avoid pitfalls and accuracy checks, please update your SoF after every transaction.

Please include and update the number of players on your roster, including draft picks, at all times. This will ensure an accurate cap since you will receive a .5 Star credit for every player over 51.

Rule of 51:

In the offseason, the NFL follows the Rule of 51 for the salary cap. This means that only the top 51 contracts are taken into account. This rule applies for the game and will automatically updated via the spreadsheet.

Depth Chart:

Simple. Post your standard depth chart in the thread when it is created.

All teams must have their correct and updated SoF and Depth Chart entries posted to participate in any part of the game.

No team should exceed having 90 players on their roster at any given time.

*Note: All teams must have their correct and updated SoF and Depth Chart entries posted to participate in any part of the game. No trades or moves will be allowed until each entry has been posted.


We will have a general discussion thread. ALL discussion goes there.

We will have a Rules thread––as you may have figured out by now. No discussion in said thread.

We will have a thread for all official trades. No discussion in said thread.

We will have a thread for all official cuts/re-signings. No discussion in said thread.

We will have a Depth Chart thread, to be updated after every transaction. No discussion in said thread.

We will have a Big Board thread for the draft order. No discussion in said thread.

We will have FA threads once their respective time slots are reached. No discussion in said thread.

We will have a draft thread once the time slot is reached. No discussion in said thread.

Breaking the Rules

If the CoCo determines that you have broken any rules, especially with intent, you will be punished appropriately.

Punishments could vary from a warning, loss of cap space, loss of draft pick, and even banishment from the game.

We are fair, and we would greatly prefer to avoid drama, but we will take action if necessary.