Madden NFL 22 Franchise mode will be Lit

Franchise Staff

Inside of coach and owner mode, Franchise Staff is a brand new way to manage your Franchise. We have expanded the coaching roster to include an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and added a player personnel department that serves as your primary player acquisition character. With four characters to manage (including yourself in coach mode), each week you can upgrade your staff through “Talent Trees.”

Staff Points

With the addition of Franchise Staff comes a brand new Franchise currency called “Staff Points.” Staff Points are earned through playing games, meeting selectable gameday goals, and completing scenarios. Completed objectives and milestones will grant Staff Points to a singular pool, which means that you can upgrade any coach character once you have earned enough points. Upgrading your staff comes in the form of purchasing talents on each character’s Talent Tree. 

EA also included a league setting that lets you modify how many Staff Points each talent costs. This way, each league has the flexibility to determine how quickly or slowly gamers will be able to purchase talents.

Furthermore, Staff Points are not purchasable with real-life currency. Staff Points can only be earned through playing games, meeting selectable gameday goals, and completing scenarios.

Talent Trees

Talent Trees replace the old coach upgrade system by giving gamers tree structures with various boosts for each character. At launch, each of the four characters will have two sub-trees associated with them. Each tree is themed to that character, as well as the role that character has in the organization. Some Talent Trees require you to make a choice, or a branching decision where selecting one talent will “lock” the opposing branch of the tree. With key decisions like this, you will have to build your characters wisely.

Types of Talents

There will be over 60 unique Talents at launch, and with some having multiple tiers – there will be over 95 Talent purchases. To try and capture what makes each character unique, Talents were broken down into four categories: Player Growth, Staff Changes/Improvements, On-field Performance, and Player Acquisition/Retention. To make each of the four staff members feel different, the head coach focuses on overseeing the growth and development of their roster and the staff. An example of a head coach talent would be “increase QB XP during weekly strategy.” The offensive and defensive coordinators prioritize the on-field product and essentially represent the entirety of the position coaches on each side of the ball. For them, you might see rating boost branching decisions like “boost DT block shed by 3” or “boost LE/RE block shed by 3.”

Lastly, there are special, powerful talents at the end of each Talent Tree. “Renewable” and “Ultimate” Talents. Ultimate Talents are stronger as they are essentially rewards for completing a character’s Talent Tree. One of the most intriguing rewards is “access additional focus player slots through weekly training.” The renewable talents take that a step further. These talents can be purchased multiple times, but have a cooldown that could be anywhere from 1 week to once per season. We will keep the Renewable Talents under wraps, for now, so you will have to experience them for yourself when you jump into Franchise Staff.

Staff Movement

When you load into Franchise Staff for the first time, you will have a full coaching staff already assembled for you. However, if you are unhappy with your coordinators or head coach as an owner, you can fire them and hire someone else from the candidate pool during the season. Generated coaches will populate out through each year of your Franchise, and some may be better than others – if you get lucky. When you hire a coach, you will earn a Staff Points bonus. 

The amount of Staff Points is inversely related to the number of Talents that the coach currently has owned. This presents an important decision: do you want to get more Staff Points to use across the board and the flexibility to shape this coach how you deem fit or do you want the coach with more experience, thus more Talents? (Note: Only the first hire of each coach position in a season will grant a hiring bonus, and it is significantly less in-season than if you wait until the off-season)

In the offseason, you will be able to hire coaches from an expanded pool, which will feature the ability to hire former head coaches as coordinators, and vice versa during the “Staff Moves” week ONLY. Staff moves week directly follows the Super Bowl, so make sure you don’t miss the window to give some down-on-their-luck coaches a second chance!

Scouting in Franchise

One of the most highly-requested features for Franchise was a more robust scouting feature when searching for your future star player. Since Scouting is a significant structural overhaul and fundamental piece of the Franchise experience, there will be a Live Service update targeted for September. This will require players to restart their Franchise in Madden NFL 22 after downloading the Title Update.

Weekly Strategy

The NFL is a long season and one of the biggest challenges head coaches face is to find the right balance of weekly game preparations and getting players the right amount of rest. Every week in the NFL is a unique experience. Who you play, when you play, where you play, all factor into how a team plans its Weekly Strategy. With that in mind, we’ve tried to consider all these factors with the new Weekly Strategy feature.

The first thing you will see when you go into Weekly Strategy is your Defensive Gameplan for the current week.  The Defensive Gameplan will show important information about your upcoming opponent’s offense including their team stats and where they rank, their overall run-pass ratio, and the recommended Defensive Gameplan Focus for the week.  The recommended focus is determined by a few different factors but generally shows what your opponent is best at on offense.  There are six different focuses that you can choose from, including: 

  • Defend Inside Run 
  • Defend Outside Run
  • Defend Short Pass
  • Defend Medium Pass
  • Defend Deep Pass
  • Contain QB Scramble

Each focus will have a Top Threat player with some specific Next Gen Stats and ranks associated with him. While building this feature, for example, if you were preparing for the Super Bowl and playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defaulted Gameplan Focus would show Defend Deep Pass along with Tom Brady’s deep passing stats and ranks. This would be an area of focus as you would want to make sure you are prepared to slow down the Bucs’ deep passing attack. 

The Offensive Gameplan would be very similar to the Defensive Gameplan in how it looks and how it is set up. However, instead of looking for a way to slow down an opponent’s strength as you did for your Defensive Gameplan, you can look to choose a focus and attack an area that is more susceptible.  For example, one of the Offensive focuses is Run Inside, and when you look at the Bucs’ defensive stats from last year for this, you will see that they were excellent at stopping the inside run. Because of that, you would want to shift your focus onto something that they are not as effective against. Their team stats can also help point us in a good direction by informing us that they were among the league’s best in sacking the quarterback, but they were below average in pass yards allowed. With that in mind, we can key on the Throw It Short Gameplan Focus to get the ball out of your quarterback’s hands quickly to slow down their defensive pass rush.

The Offensive Gameplan Focuses are:

  • Run Inside
  • Run Outside
  • Throw It short
  • Throw It medium
  • Throw It Deep
  • Blitz Counter

Another difference on the Offensive Gameplan screen is that the Top Threat players will not show player-specific Next Gen Stats, but team-specific stats.  All of these Next Gen Stats, Player Specific Stats, and Team Stats and ranks, along with the pros and cons, will help give you all the information you need to make the best Gameplan focus choices for your team that week. 

A big improvement this year is our expansion on how Gameplan Focus choices carry over into the game. Last year, you would get small ratings to boost if you called specific plays from whatever drill you chose for that week. Now, in Madden NFL 22, each focus will also have very specific pros and cons for how the AI will play in-game. So, in the example above, where we are talking about defending the deep pass, the pros are that your defenders are going to get a boost in man and zone coverage on receivers running deep routes by doing a better job of staying over the top of those routes.  One more pro is that defenders in deep zone assignments will automatically increase the cushion on receivers. While this helps cover the deep passes, the cons of this focus are that you will give up more room underneath on short and medium passes, as well as have slower reactions to the run by your secondary. 

These boosts and AI behaviors will only trigger when you call a specific Gameplan Focus play. With that in mind, we have added a new Gameplan tab on the Play Call screen in-game that will have these plays to make it quickly accessible and easy to find. Our Gameplay designers have picked out specific plays that should help put your players in the best position to successfully execute your Gameplan in-game.

One more note about the Defensive and Offensive Gameplan screens is the ability to view specific playcalling tendencies about your upcoming opponent.  By digging into these tendencies, you can see the top four concepts that your opponent likes to call for the following situations: First and 10, Second and Long, Second and Medium, and Third and Long. These will be especially helpful when playing another user, as you will get some more specific information about the plays they like to call in those situations. 

An additional major change we have made to the week-to-week core loop is that we have completely removed drills to earn different medals. Unlike in previous years, where only two position groups would earn training XP, all players will participate in the simulated practice and training and will therefore earn XP for the week. The amounts of XP will vary based on several factors. The skills trainer and drills are still available in the front end, but you no longer have those inside Franchise mode.  Free Practice is still available for those of you who like to get in the lab between games. 

Continuing with your Weekly Strategy is one of our biggest new features, the Manage Player Health and Progressive Fatigue systems.  We are introducing a new fatigue system, where fatigue levels will carry over from game to game.  This new feature ties in directly with the new Dynamic Gameday feature so when and where you play matters more now than ever before. During the duration of every game, players will fatigue as they have in the past, but will only be able to recover up to a certain point. This will help simulate how players wear down throughout a game, to the point that they are never fully at the same energy levels at the end of the game as they were at the start of the game. As players fatigue during the game, specific position-based ratings will start to decrease.  For example, a running back with 92 Speed at the start of the game, may not be able to fully reach that speed in the 4th quarter if he has had a bunch of carries earlier in the game.

During a Franchise season, all players will end the game at a degraded fatigue level that will be brought over into the Manage Player Health screens in Weekly Strategy.

There is a Player Health screen with multiple options and choices that you can make to help manage your player’s fatigue levels.  When first entering the screen, you will see an overall offensive or defensive team fatigue level.  This will quickly give you an idea of where your team currently is fatigue-wise.  You will also see a depth chart type view that shows every player and their current fatigue level.  At this point, you can decide the best course of action for your team.  

As a coach, there are two choices you can make every week: Practice Intensity and Player Reps.  For Practice Intensity, you are choosing how hard you want your team to practice that week, which means either choosing Full Pads or Half Pads.  Full Pads will give your players higher practice XP and Gameplan Focus boosts but will lessen fatigue recovery and have a chance for Practice Injuries. Practice Injuries is a new feature but there is a setting to turn the Practice Injuries off if you choose. There are no long-term injuries from practice as most of them are only a week long. Half-Pads are the opposite: Lower XP, lower in-game Gameplan Focus boosts, but higher fatigue recovery and very low injury chances.  

The Player Reps option allows you to assign the practice reps for the week between the starters and the backups. The three options are Starters, Split, and Backups. Just like the intensity choice, each of these has pros and cons associated with them. Starters mean the starters will take the majority of the reps and will earn more XP, Gameplan Focus boosts with less fatigue recovery and higher injury chances. Split reps are just what it sounds like – splitting the reps equally along with all the other aspects. Backups will give the majority of the reps to backups so they get more XP, game boosts, less fatigue recovery, but higher injury chances.

Each player will earn back a certain amount of daily fatigue recovery on non-game days.  As the season progresses, that daily fatigue recovery lessens simulating how the NFL season is a grind. This also means you will need to pay closer attention to your player’s fatigue levels as you get deeper into the season. When you play your game also factors in tremendously as teams on a short week will obviously have fewer days to recover. Therefore, you may need to change up your intensity and reps to give your starters more rest during the week so they can be fresher for the game. Playing on the road is also a factor as you will have one less daily recovery day for road games to help simulate a “travel day.” 

If all these new options and choices seem intimidating, no problem!  We have added a new setting to auto-manage these choices for you as well.  When starters reach certain fatigue levels, the setting will change the intensity and reps options for you.  All in all, the new Manage Health options add a new high-risk, high-reward mechanic that you can enjoy, finding the perfect balance for each week.

The final tab in the new Weekly Strategy feature is your Team Profile.  Just like last year, you will see three Focus Players that you can select to earn extra XP from training. However, three additional Focus Player slots can be unlocked via new Staff Talents. We tried to tie our new features together as much as possible and if you want more Focus Players to earn additional XP, this will give you a reason to try and go down a specific talent tree path.

Another new addition to the Team Profile is the new selectable Weekly Gameplan Goal.  Each week you can choose a goal to earn more Staff Points to purchase more Staff Talents. The goals range from easy to hard with the hard ones awarding the most Staff Points.  Each week you can decide based on your opponent how aggressive or conservative you want to be for your selected goal.

The Team Profile also gives you a snapshot of where your offensive and defensive stats rank amongst the entire NFL. You can “self-scout” by viewing your playcalling tendencies for those same groups mentioned above. If you are calling “Four Verticals” too often on 3rd and Long, then this playcalling report will help show that, so you can try to change up your offense. 

Finally, after you have made all your choices for the week and are ready to advance, you can select the Start Training option and all the practices for that week will be simulated. When it is done, you will see the new Training Recap report which will break down all the XP earned, amount of Gameboosts, Fatigue recovery (lost or gained) as well as if any players were injured during training. 

In summary, we tried to come up with a compelling and realistic feature that helps make every week feel different, and can’t wait for you guys to try it out.

Season Engine

The Season Engine is the tool that drives narrative storyline moments that you’ll see throughout Franchise. There was a major focus in Madden NFL 22 to not only deliver a diverse and deep amount of content, but also to make the content that you experience a more personal, exciting, and rewarding experience.

Madden NFL 22 will feature over 30 brand-new scenarios taking place at any point in the season – whether it be the preseason, regular season, playoffs, or Super Bowl. Each scenario has context-based trigger conditions meaning that what happens in your Franchise is going to dictate when scenarios happen and what kind of scenarios you experience.

Modular Cinematics

Our number one goal with the Season Engine this year was to make these narrative moments feel more immersive and more personal when playing through them. Previously, all of our scenarios have been based around text message interactions and this led to similar scenario development, regardless of conditions (characters, scenarios themselves, etc.).

One of the first things you’ll notice and the most dramatic change to scenarios in Madden NFL 22,  is the addition of modular cinematics. Similar to what you’ve seen in Face of the Franchise, this year we’ll be able to leverage the use of 3D environments and character models to create an immersive experience and a more personal interaction between your coach and the characters involved in each scenario.

Press Conference

In the Press Conference environment, you may find your coach fielding questions about how you’re going to stop one of your rival’s top players or one of your players facing the media and speaking about the key to his recent rise to success.

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GM Office

The GM’s Office can either be a place of encouragement and promise or a place filled with tension and accountability – depending on the circumstances. Earlier in the year, a meeting here might revolve around looking at a college prospect that is on the rise, while a meeting later in the year might include having a tough conversation about what it’s going to take to retain your job.

Locker Room

With the Locker Room environment, you’ll get a sneak peek behind the curtain that will include interactions between your coach and players, both before and after games. This can include your coach warning the team about tough weather conditions or more personal interactions, like your coach congratulating a player on his big game.

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These new environments will provide every new scenario with an immensely immersive and personal experience, all while maintaining a quick, fluid user experience to get you in and out of each moment quickly.

Dynamic Actor Goals

New this year within our scenarios is Dynamic Actor Goals. In Madden NFL 22, we can directly assign goals to the players involved in our stories. These player-specific goals will be featured in many of our new scenarios and will show up in the goals hub. Upon completion, you will be awarded Staff Points to upgrade your Franchise Staff.

Previously, interaction with your starting running back would likely lead to a goal for your team to achieve 100 yards rushing. This year, that goal will be directly tied to the player involved in the story – which will help tie together the narrative stories we’re telling through scenarios and the players that are involved in them.

Enhanced Rewards

Another big goal we had with the Season Engine was to provide more impactful rewards through our scenarios. In the past, rewards have largely been based around more slow-burn effects like XP and Morale which resulted in a scenario not feeling as rewarding as it could have. We want those rewards to have a more immediate impact and be something that you’re going to feel either on or off the field.

Temporary Attribute Boosts/Nerfs

One of the more common rewards that will come from scenarios this year is temporary attribute boosts, or potential nerfs, for both your team as well as individual players. Depending on the situation and scenario completed, your team or player can end up with a large boost to key ratings for the next game or a smaller boost that lasts a bit longer. Conversely, failing certain scenarios can result in the opposite effect where your team or player may suffer a ratings nerf for a certain number of games.

Obviously, balance is a key element here. While we certainly want you to feel the effects, we don’t want them to feel overpowered or, in the case of nerfs, too frustrating. The majority of our scenarios will follow a 3, 5, 7 scale with a +/- 7 being the least common boost that will usually only last one game, while +/- 3’s and 5’s will tend to be more common and can last anywhere from one to three games.

Permanent Attribute Boosts

Along with the temporary attribute boosts, we will also be offering the ability for players to receive permanent attribute boosts via scenarios. Opportunities can range between a mentor helping a young player improve in a certain area, or a star player inspiring a teammate to improve their game.

And again, balance is key. With these being permanent upgrades, the scale we’ve used will be a smaller 3 to 5 range. Depending on the situation you may get +5 to a single attribute or +3 to multiple attributes, but overall this reward will follow the same logic as temporary boosts where the high end will be less common and harder to achieve than the low end.

Superstar X-Factor Activation

Outside of ratings, we wanted to find more ways to reward you on the field for playing through and completing scenarios. This is where Superstar X-Factor activation comes in. In our Gameplan Elite QB scenario, if you’re able to shut down and beat one of the league’s premier QBs and your top defensive player has a Superstar X-Factor ability, he has the potential to either have it active to start your next game or even have it active for the entire game.

Staff Points

In addition to scenarios having an impact on the field, we also wanted that impact to translate off the field and contribute to your ability to build your coaching staff. On top of scenario goals awarding you Staff Points, many of our scenarios will offer the opportunity to earn bonus Staff Points to purchase talents for your Head Coach, Coordinators, or Player Personnel department.

DEV Trait

Joining our legacy breakout scenarios will be what we’re calling “tiered breakout” scenarios. These new scenarios can potentially span multiple weeks and elevate a player, not just a single DEV trait, but multiple DEV traits, if they can have sustained success.

XP and Morale

Both XP and Morale return as potential rewards this year but will be used more to supplement other rewards rather than being the primary source. However, in the cases where XP or Morale is the primary reward, we aimed to make it more worthwhile and match the level of impact that you’ll feel from other scenario rewards.

Franchise Hub 

The Franchise Hub has been fully redesigned to keep you informed and empowered around what’s happening in your league wherever possible – whether playing solo offline or with your friends in an Online Franchise.

Each tab has a new look (complete with 2D backgrounds) that focuses on sending the relevant information directly to you to drive strategy, action, and immersion. Now, you can seamlessly find stats like the current passing yards leader at any point of the season, what the week’s slate of games looks like or what your weekly Goals are, without putting your experience on hold. 

Additionally, we’ve targeted improvements specifically for our roster managers. We’ve moved all roster and team management screens directly to the Home tab, which will reduce the number of clicks needed to perform core functions, like going to the Rosters screen to cut a player or signing a Free Agent. Some panels from the Hub now also contain shortcuts to access screens and functionality faster than ever before. 

We’ve implemented these new visual elements to provide user ease, surface what is important while playing, and cut downtime spent trying to find specific information. We do understand, however, that deep dive stats can be what some Franchise players enjoy, so don’t worry – those spreadsheets are still available for use.

Activities

The Activities list makes up your list of weekly tasks to focus on, like setting up your Weekly Strategy, interacting with the new Season Engine, upgrading your Players, and playing season games too.

A new “Manage Roster” activity gives you full roster control from the Home tab, so you’re able to sign Free Agents, make trades and update your Depth Chart at any time, at your convenience. 

A new “Manage Staff” activity is where your coach and Staff-centric tasks, like interacting with your Franchise Staff or setting your Team Schemes, will be housed. You’ll be able to access your other weekly activities, like Weekly Strategy and playing season games here too.

Home Tab

  • Gameday/Top Player Panels: The Gameday and Top Player panels will provide intel into your weekly opponent – their best player, key stat comparisons between teams, and details to keep you strategically informed. 
  • Goals Panel: The Goals panel will keep you aware of all Staff, Scenario and Gameplan Goals for the week, as well as your Season Goal.
  • Standings: View your division’s Standings directly from the Hub at all times, so you always know what you’re playing for.
  • Key Information: Key information and details like your active Roster count and amount of available Staff Points, are always visible.

You will see a new layout for the Home tab customized for player acquisition, in BYE or Offseason weeks:

  • The Gameday panel will be replaced with Team Information, such as your available Salary Cap space and top Team Needs.
  • The Goals panel will become Draft Central, which shows you the top 3 players at each of your top 3 needs in the incoming Draft Class.
  • The Stats panel will convert to show Team Stats, and Standings will remain to keep the focus on what’s ahead and who you’re competing with.

News Tab

A new layout for the News tab resurfaces the stories of your league directly in the Hub. You’ll be able to immortalize your favorite in-game Snapshots through the News panel and stay up-to-date with the league’s Top Stories as well as see reactions from analysts about events unfolding each week, which include hundreds of new lines of content that tell the story about what is happening in your Franchise.

League Tab

You can now easily view the current week’s slate of games and Top Performers on the season directly from the League Tab, as well as access popular stat screens from the list on the left.

Top Performers appear for:

  • Passing Leaders
  • Rushing Leaders
  • Receiving Leaders
  • Sack Leaders
  • Tackle Leaders
  • Interception Leaders

You’re able to access League History all the time from the League tab as well, which now contains all historical years of the NFL throughout the Super Bowl era, in addition to information on Transactions, the X-Factor Database, and all major player and Team stat screens.

Options

You’ll be able to update your Franchise Settings (XP Sliders, Gameplay Sliders, League Settings) and more from a one-stop access to all of your league customization options.

Also, an all-new Members screen will debut in Online Franchise for Madden NFL 22, adding an easy-to-read grid layout for Commissioners to Invite players to leagues, and perform other Commissioner tool options like Auto Pilot and clearing Cap Penalties with ease.

Franchise Tuning and Quality of Life Improvements 

Draft Logic

After expanding on Madden NFL 21’s QB Draft rules post-launch, Madden NFL 22 has enhanced the logic teams use in the first round across all player positions to improve team decision-making when on the clock. Teams will now consider what pick they have in the first round when determining what player positions they would consider at the pick to create positional value and tendencies that mimic the NFL Draft’s trends in real life. Teams will use this awareness of where they are in the Draft order alongside other factors like their depth chart at the position, the players available at the time of the pick, and the team’s current needs relative to the available players on the board.

Draft Class Generators

New types of players have been added to Rookie Draft Generators to add even more variety and create memorable prospects to get excited about drafting, especially inside the top 10. These players represent the same kind of “can’t-miss” prospects that make the Draft season so thrilling to follow, and they can be found at multiple positions. In addition to higher ratings to represent their pro-ready appeal, they also have improved chances of a high development trait. 

In addition, we’ve made updates to the balancing of Development Traits in generated Draft Classes overall, increasing the chance of a high development player over the first three rounds at a rate similar to real-life rookie ratings, and improved the quality of first-round generated players per community feedback.

Progression and Regression

EA added variable amounts of regression randomness to the end of season Player Regression to address issues where a player’s exact amount of regression could be accurately predicted in advance, negatively impacting teambuilding strategies. 

Players will still have a base amount of regression according to their age to ensure players ultimately do phase out over time, but with new random chance modifiers based on a player’s Dev Trait, the exact amount of regression a player will encounter is no longer linear, meaning players can regress at different rates in different Franchises. 

This means there could be two X-Factors in a league that are eligible to regress – one goes down 4 OVR, and the other may only lose 1 OVR. Some players may appear to regress sooner than others entirely.

End of season Development Trait Regression has also received tuning updates to address examples of high-rated players occasionally losing Dev Trait where they should not have been considered for regression. 

The logic to regress will still generally favor the top-rated players at each Dev Trait to keep your Superstar X-Factors challenging to overcome, but with more consideration for younger players when the logic runs to help players who may not have the high OVR have a better chance to keep their trait.

Also, XP rewards for Player Goals of all types have been revamped for Fantasy Goals, which are stat-based XP amounts earned by players on the field. We’ve also turned off “Drive Goals” from the in-game experience, so now all goals will come from Scenarios, Gameplan or Staff when playing as a Coach/Owner.

Trade Logic and Value

improvements to player value and authenticity in Madden NFL 22, starting with the quarterback position and ensuring that top signal-callers are heavily valued and difficult to trade for. Teams will now be much more aware that their top QB is extremely valuable and seek more in exchange — acquiring a top QB from a team will take significant investment and in some cases may not be possible to agree to terms at all. 

Elite non-quarterbacks also received a value increase to address feedback and community response to some players being too easy to acquire. Remember though, OVR is only part of the story for a player’s value.

Age is still a major factor, and we’ve continued to tune the amount that a player’s age impacts their total value at all positions, like slightly increasing the value of players so that skill position players may still drop off faster than the offensive or defensive lines where players can typically perform at a high level at a later age, but slightly less in general value. Age is still a major factor in how teams will view a player they have or want to acquire, though.

Authenticity

The 17-game season now makes its debut in Madden NFL 22, along with another new rule change!

To make Franchise as authentic as possible, added the new 2021 NFL jersey rules and assignment logic to AI and USER teams in Franchise. As more players change their jersey numbers in real life, players will continue to adopt the expanded range as you play through your league. Franchise, and the NFL, have never looked like this!

Franchise features available for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Stadia:

  • Franchise Staff & Staff Points
  • Weekly Strategy*
  • Franchise Hub
  • Seasons Engine

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