Each league has a pool of Free Agents that includes players cut from other teams and players skipped in the Amateur Draft. Some general guidelines on the free agency system:
Note: "Days" are calendar days, not sim days.
For example, your league has a $50 million salary cap, and your team payroll is at $48 million. You can sign a Free Agent(s) that will take you all the way to $50,000,000 exactly. If you bid on more than one player, their bid amounts will count against your team’s salary for other bids you made. So, you can bid on Player A for $1 million, and Player B for $1 million, but if you want Player C who is also at $1 million, you will need to cut/trade some salary before placing your bid for Player C.
Any bids that take you over the salary cap, in this case $50,000,001 and up, will not be processed. You will be prompted with the following message from the popup bid box if you try to make a bid that will take you over the salary cap:
"You cannot submit a Free Agent claim for that much, because it will take your team salary over the league salary cap. Refer to the Sign-N-Drop section for more information."
When you submit an offer to a Free Agent, you have the option of offering ''more'' than their asking salary, (this is common when multiple teams are bidding on the same player). If you sign a player at more than his asking salary, the amount offered over the player's base salary will be reduced by 50% each year. If the amount offered ever gets to 10% or less of a player's base salary, it is dropped altogether.
Free agents will not make a decision solely based on salary if he has multiple contract offers. Some of the factors which influence a player's decision to sign with your team include:
When you sign a Free Agent, he will join either your AAA or Low Minors. If the player has no Active Roster experience, and you have room in your Low Minors roster (Low Minors has a maximum of 20 players), he will be assigned there. If the player has one or more year’s playing experience, or if you have insufficient room in your Low Minors roster, he will be assigned to AAA. See Minor League Development Bonus
When placing Free Agent bids, you are permitted to select up to three players to be dropped from your roster should that Free Agent sign with your team. This is useful for teams who are currently over the salary cap with no clear path to get back under, or teams who do not want to lose the production of a current player until the replacement has signed on the dotted line. Sign-N-Drop is not without its limitations:
Once a player is included in a Sign-N-Drop transaction, he may not be included in another one until the first one has been cleared or cancelled. Players from your team who are included in Sign-N-Drop transactions may not be dropped from the roster or included in any trade offers.