25 ways to put progression $$ in your bank

by Cameron Irvine

With one of the most anticipated off-seasons approaching in SFL history, we're here to guide every team and player into a new era. The big change this off-season is the ability for players and teams to earn banked money for pay cuts in the off-season and selling attributes during the season. Simply put, this is how it works:

  • In the off-season, players get money for cutting their salary. If a player's previous contract was $1.5 million and they cut their salary to $1.2 million, they'll receive $300,000 in their bank. Cut attributes that are closest to max but least in demand league wide for the biggest impact.
  • If teams fall short of the $35 million salary cap, they'll receive the difference to distribute amongst their team as they see fit. If a team comes in at $33 million, they would receive $2 million. This money can be distributed in the off-season, in-season or saved for future signings as the team sees fit.*

*In future off-seasons, this will be contingent on if the team has debt. If a team rolled up their salary cap to $45 million the prior season, they'd have a debt of $10 million and would need to come in more than $10 million under the salary cap in order to bank money.

  • During the season, players can sell their attributes at the market rate. For each point, they'll get back in progression funds what other players are paying per point. Once per season, each player has the option to transfer progression funds to one teammate. Cut attributes that are most in demand league wide for the biggest impact.

The league had 25 teams last season. I'm going to select 25 contracts at random - one from each team - and show how this progression system is the best to ever be built:

Alamo City - HB Brad Jones (Season 22 salary: 3.544 million)

  • Jones has maxed out agility at 86. Agility per point at the end of the season cost $158,429. If Jones cut 5 points of agility in the off-season, he'd earn nearly 1 million dollars. If he cut five points of agility during the season, he'd only receive a little less than $800 thousand. For Jones, best to take the off-season cut in agility.

Arizona - DT Hunter Norwood (Season 22 salary: 2.229 million)

  • Norwood has near max aggressiveness at 96. Aggressiveness at the end of the season was only costing $446. Norwood could cut 15 points of aggressiveness and bank nearly $600,000. He could spend six weeks and less than $3,000 to max his aggressiveness and then would still have $597,000 to spend on other attributes during the season - like the most expensive attribute - pass rush - last listed at around $104,000. +5 please.

Atlanta - WR Henry McGee (Season 22 salary: 3.496 million)

  • McGee's stamina is maxed. Stamina is the most-demand attribute for WRs at $175K. If he cut four points in the off-season, he could get about $450K for that. But if he cut those same four points in the off-season, he could get about $700K, assuming the demand doesn't significantly go down by the time we get to Week 1. With that assumption, Henry could get an additional $250K for waiting to cut stamina until the season starts.

Baltimore - DT Nate Brown (Season 22 salary: $830K)

  • Most expensive attribute for a defensive tackle last season? Consistency - $116K. Brown's currently at an 82. If he cut five in the off-season, it would net around $100K. Cut five during the season, it would net about $580K. This one's a no-brainer. Spend a couple of weeks shedding some consistency and get other things if so desired. Even someone who's contract is less than a million dollars can yield big earnings from this system.

Canton - CB Joshua Durr (Season 22 salary: 1.915 million)

  • The 4th corner on this team has 88 coverage. Coverage was going for $215K at the end of last season. Cut 5 in the off-season? less than $200K payout. Cut 5 in-season, over $1 million in the bank. But Canton finished last season over 22 million over the salary cap. In-season cuts doesn't do much for them, but this one would do wonders for a player like Durr.

Carolina - WR Christian Bacigaluppi (Season 22 salary: 2.129 million)

  • Baci's got max break tackle and it only costs $14K on the open market. You know what that means...off-season for the win! Cut six of that and get back about $550K. That could max his strength in three weeks, with over $400K left over.

Charleston - G Leroy James (Season 22 salary: $519K)

  • Not too many expensive attributes for OL. BUT pass block is $13K higher than run block. If Leroy wanted to be a great run blocker, he'd need $32K per point - it would take $320K to get to +10 and 32 weeks to get it in the old system. How could he get there now? Sell 7 points of pass block in-season over three weeks - that equals about 10 points of run block. A way to make money so you can adjust your build without waiting an eternity.

D.C. - QB Shabazz Psynergy (Season 22 salary: 1.557 million)

  • Most QBs in this league are the same APF 90 builds they were three years ago. Nothing shows how cookie-cutter players were in the APF era then the QB position. Let's fix that in Season 23. (Off-season) -4 Leadership: $245K. -6 strength: $100K. -5 consistency: $100K. Nearly $500K in cuts to completely max speed by the end of the season. A complete reinvention, not to mention the millions that could be earned in-season cutting one of the big three attributes of pass strength, accuracy and read coverage.

Denver - HB Baylee O'Shaughnessy (Season 22 salary: 5.745 million)

  • This one is fun. Baylee accounts for nearly 1/6 of Denver's cap right now, but Denver is not over the cap. That means Baylee doesn't have to take any cuts in the off-season but in-season he can make a killing. Max agility - $158K per point. 92 speed - $360K per point. 80 consistency - $265K per point. This guy can be an instant millionaire if he wants to be and could do anything with it like maxing speed or break tackle, or consistency or strength no problem. Or dump all that money into a key rising star in the offense.

Florida - OLB Juan Mississippi (Season 22 salary: 1.151 million)

  • This works even on the smallest of scales. Mississippi is not really close to max in anything, but catch is the closest - just five points off. It's only about $10K on the market, but just cutting one point off in the off-season would net about $78K. How much are you going to miss that one catch? You don't have to miss it. Add it back after Week 1 and still have $68K left to spend on +3 agility. 

Fort Worth - CB Ayden Davis (Season 22 salary: 2.608 million)

  • Davis is the best corner on the team - even great players can reap rewards. Speed at 94 - cut 1 point in the off-season, net $250K. Get 2 points of speed in return or use it somewhere else. Everyone knows you weren't getting another point of speed without the cut, with only $40K currently in the bank.

Houston - FB Dan Curtis (Season 22 salary: 1.264 million)

  • League average for fullback break tackle is 66. Curtis is only at 50, a converted tight end. At $84K per point, Curtis needs a lifeline. Shed 5 points of speed during the season and bring in nearly $600K, go out and get +7 break tackle. Shed another five points of catch and run route, get another +3. Curtis' run route and catch are still above league average and in nine weeks, Curtis will be nearly league average in break tackle. It's not a short road, but at least now it's possible and desperation is no longer hopelessness.

Indianapolis - SS Meliodas Manning (Season 22 salary: 2.669 million)

  • One of the most unique players in the SFL, Manning's pass rush is maxed. It's only $346 on the open market, but if he sold five points of it in the off-season, he'll earn nearly $600K in his bank. He can quickly get his max pass rush back pretty inexpensively, but now finally has money to develop more key attributes like tackle - which is 39 points away from max and costs $50K a point.

Jacksonville - QB OJ Bruin (Season 22 salary: 3.686 million)

  • Similar to Manning, Bruin has a unique build with stats high in cheaper attributes like speed, scramble and agility. That's going to be to Bruin's advantage, getting to get those attributes back quickly and cheaply during the season while gaining some money to progress harder-to-obtain skills.

Los Angeles TE Jack Flash (Season 22 salary: 1.152 million)

  • Tight ends are interesting. They don't currently have many super-expensive attributes, but nothing's really dirt cheap either. At $76K a point for stamina, Flash could probably unload a handful in-season for a nice payout. A player like this though could best to benefit from a team distributing extra funds for being under the cap - those funds could help specialize him in an area not currently specialized. The closest Flash is to max in any category is 11 points in stamina, strength and agility. Stamina's the best initial payout of the three, but still below the market rate if cut in the off-season.

Louisiana FB Noah Scott (Season 22 salary: $29K)

  • Why cut anything? Nothing could be worse for a UDFA player. But Louisiana has managed their salary cap wisely. And with leadership inflation ballooning salary caps an extra 2 million plus, the Revs just found more money to help develop a player like Scott, who held on to nearly all of his money last season - $219K worth.

Motor City TE Julian Gusters (Season 22 salary: 1.100 million)

  • In a crowded tight end room, maybe the V8s want to shuffle some players around. Gusters was the lowest-salaried tight end last season so maybe he transfers to fullback. He's got a lot of valuable run route he probably doesn't need as much. So when should he cut the run route? If he cuts from 81 to 60 before the position change, he nets about $135K. If he cuts from the fullback max 77 to 60, he nets about $260K after accounting for inflation. So he doubles his money by cutting the attribute at the same time as the position change, not before. This could vary by position, just have to look at all the layers.

Minnesota FS Adrian Blane (Season 22 salary: 2.542 million)

  • Blane has max run coverage, only $15K on the open market. This is a no-brainer off-season sell. Just selling one point of run coverage would net Blane nearly $100K. Buy the point back in week 1, earn $85K for another point of strength that otherwise would have taken six weeks to get.

Mexico City P KL Barrett Jr. (Season 22 salary: 2.909 million)

  • One of the best punters in the league has it all - $169K in the bank, max kick power, max kick accuracy, one point away from max consistency. Dumping a point of kick power to net nearly a quarter of a million and that could go to teammate Chaz Blackwater who's got some expensive development ahead. KL's got the funds to get that point back as soon as the first window opens.

 Portland WR Izrell Adams (Season 22 salary: 1.433 million)

  • Adams needs a little less than a million to max out catch at 98 - a wide receiver's dream. In a run-first offense, he probably doesn't need all that stamina - selling on the market at $175K per point. If he spent three weeks selling nine points of stamina, he'd have his million to turn himself into an elite wide receiver.

Queen City CB Anthony Wyo (Season 22 salary: 3.093 million)

  • For years, players in Wyo's position have dreaded this time of the off-season, wondering how much is going to get slashed. Wyo's got the money in the bank $633K and he could pull in even more. Dump four more points of leadership that dropped to max with the rule change - that's another $500K. Wyo goes from 86 leadership to 71 leadership and makes half a million, not a bad investment even though some would say it got 'nerfed'.

San Diego OLB Zac Holldorf (Season 22 salary: $912K)

  • Holldorf is one of the fastest outside linebackers in the league, but he's still seven points away from max. But speed is the most expensive attribute for outside linebackers - nearly $100K per. Sell off five of speed, net half a million and go and get some of that run coverage that's seven points below league average, but still a somewhat-steep $40K per.

Seattle CB Amar Bryant Jr. (Season 22 salary: 1.811 million)

  • So you're broke, that sucks. Bryant only has 3K in his progression bank and just needs cash to get back in the game. What's the best way to get it? For CBs, in-season pricing says coverage ($215K) is the way to go. If the cut is coming off-season, cutting one point of anything isn't going to get you that kind of payout. The choice is clear: in desperate need of cash, just sell something really valuable. There's your money, it's just that simple.

Tulsa WR Gabriel Manning (Season 22 salary: 3.368 million)

  • If I've got MVP Manning on my team, I'm doubling down - why wouldn't you? Max break tackle AND jump? That would be nuts. He needs roughly $400K to get there. Stamina is $175K a point to sell in season. Seriously? Dump two points of stamina and spend the first half of the season maxing jump. Become the first player to win two MVP awards - why not?

Vancouver ILB Josh Farnzy (Season 22 salary: 1.318 million)

  • Farnzy's tackle isn't the best in the league, but 88 is pretty darn good. It goes for $158K on the open market. If Farnzy wanted to be faster (two points under the league average currently) - that'd be a seamless way to exchange one valuable attribute that you're above average in for one you're below average in.

And that's it. I hope this helps. Is the system complex? Yes. Should you be excited about what the system can do for you? Absolutely, yes. Happy preparing for Season 23!