After spending years on the receiving end of fan criticism, EA finally dedicated some resources to improving Madden’s Franchise Mode. Madden 22 delivered many fan-requested features such as a Franchise Staff, Weekly Strategy and Dynamic Gameday integrations, and a complete overhaul to player scouting. With Madden 23, there’s a larger focus on Free Agency.
In previous Madden games, if you wanted to sign a player, you’d simply have to offer him the most money. Although money is still a factor in Madden 23, it’s not the only motivating factor for a free agent.
New to this year’s game is Player Motivations. Each player now has three Motivations that describe the type of team they want to play for. Inspired by real-world scenarios, these motivations can range from things like location, coach prestige, team composition and more.
Some examples EA provided include the “Close to Home” motivation. Modeled after Jarvis Landry’s decision to sign with the New Orleans Saints this offseason, a player with the Close to Home motivation wants to play in a stadium that’s near his Home state.
Other conditions that could motivate a player include playing in a “Tax Free State” (ie. Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, etc.) or a “Warm Weather State.”
There’s also the “Team Has a Franchise QB” motivation in which the player wants to take the field alongside an elite Quarterback. In this situation, if your QB has the “Franchise QB” Player Tag, the free agent will be more motivated to sign with you. Similarly, there’s the “Mentor at Position” in which the free agent wants to see a player on your team at their position with the “Mentor” Player Tag.
This brings me to the next aspect of Madden 23’s free agency: Player Tags. Tags add a new layer to each player and impact how they fit with their team. A player’s tag could bring unique effects that not only apply to the team but also to teammates and potential free agents, depending on motivation.
Like I mentioned above, there’s the Franchise QB tag. Not only do some players seek to play with a Franchise QB, but teams who have a quarterback with this tag will not look to replace them via Free Agency or the Draft. Having this sort of knowledge heading into the offseason could help you better prepare on who to draft and focus on signing.
Another tag is Day 1 Starter. If a team has a player with this tag, they will be given starter priority and the team will look elsewhere in future Drafts.
As EA notes, “All players will begin with a set of 3 Motivations but with every year a player continues with a Franchise, these may update to better align with their current situation.”
It’s similar with player Tags. These are updated weekly depending and how the players, teams and league progress. So a Day 1 Starter or Future Star could evolve into a Mentor at one point down the light. Or a QB of the Future could turn into a Franchise QB or Bridge QB depending on their performance throughout the years.
Combined with salary, player motivations and player tags will hopefully create a much more dynamic and exciting offseason that’s less predictable. Both player motivations and tags can change depending on factors around the league throughout your Franchise.
Madden NFL 23 launches on August 19 but early access begins on August 16 for those who pre-order the All Madden Edition. Only the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions will have the new FieldSENSE gameplay technology.