What is Progression Football?

Progression Football is a football league simulation game based on the NFL. Users can create or join a league, and then optionally manage one of the teams in the league. As a manager, users control roster management, depth charts, player contracts, rookie scouting, rookie drafting, and team strategy. Teams that are not managed by a user will be managed by the CPU.

Wherever possible, CPU teams will obey the rules that would be applied to human players. For example, if a CPU team does not invest in scouting, they will probably have a poor draft. This overall concept was a major inspiration for creating Progression Football, as other football simulation games resorted to the CPU cheating to keep up with human players.

The goal of each coach is to successfully perform the roles of General Manager and Head Coach over multiple seasons to build a football team into a legendary franchise!


  • Server-side, single-or-multiplayer, online web-based football management game
  • Custom game simulation engine
  • Realistic rosters
  • Roster management (Sign, Cut, Draft, Trade, Depth Chart)
  • Trade Block with AI only offering trades that benefit both teams - AI trade with each other as well
  • New probability-based progression system based on the situation of each player
  • New Consistency mechanic for each player
  • New Culture mechanic for all players and teams
  • Historical stat tracking (per player and team)
  • Customizable upgrades for teams (Scouting, Development, and Coach Boosts)

How are games played?

All games are simulated with no direct user interaction using PFL's custom simulation engine. The engine was created from scratch and uses weighted random probabilities to simulate outcomes, based on NFL game statistics for realism. Every play's outcome is determined by the individual players on the field, their ratings, and each team's gameplan.

How do player ratings work?

Each player has a rating called OVR, which stands for "overall" rating. A higher value means the player has more skill and ability on the football field. They also have a rating called "CON" for "consistency", which is a negative value. For each game, each player will have an "effective OVR" rating that falls somewhere in the range between the player's OVR and the difference after applying the CON. The simulation engine uses this value during its calculations to determine each play's outcome.


Each player and team is also assigned a "Culture". This is to represent a player's "fit" on a team, which is a seperate consideration from the player's ability ratings. Culture is also used to make sure all teams don't value a certain player the exact same way.

The possible cultures are Aggressive, Strategic, Energetic, and Professional. If a player's culture matches the team's culture, they may receive OVR boosts, depending on the league's settings. If a player's culture is the opposite of the team's culture, they may receive OVR penalties, as well.

Aggressive ( ) and Professional ( ) are opposite cultures.
Energetic ( ) and Strategic ( ) are opposite cultures.

Coach Boosts

Each coach has a "boost value" for each position, starting at 0. Managers can choose to save up Team Points and purchase Coach Boosts for a certain position. These upgrades are tied to the current Head Coach and apply to all current and future players on that team at that position, but they go away if the coach is fired or retires!

Draft Boosts

  • Any player who is on the same team that drafted him receives a Progression Chance boost for the duration of their tenure with that team
  • Any player who is on the same team that drafted him receives a 10% reduction in salary for the duration of their tenure with that team
  • If a player with Draft Boost is cut or traded, his Progression Chance Boost will disappear forever, and his salary will return to normal value
  • This is to encourage teams to invest in Scouting, raise the value of draft picks, and consider the Draft a serious factor to their team's long-term future

How does player progression work?

Players will automatically progress or regress during the offseason. There are many factors that contribute to a player's progression/regression chances, but the most relevant factor is the player's age. The PC (progression chance) rating represents a player's chance to progress. Managers can increase PC for players on their roster by using Team Points throughout the season to increase the chances for the players at a certain position to progress in the offseason.

How do team points work?

Each team earns 1000 points after each week. The coach of each team can choose to spend Team Points to upgrade Progression Cap for all players on the team, increase the team's Rookie Scouting ability by hiring Scouts, or purchase an OVR Coach Boost or Dev Boost for a certain position. The Coach upgrades stay with the coach. Progression Cap limits how much players on your team can progress this offseason.

How does rookie scouting work?

The upcoming rookie draft class is created at the beginning of each season. Each undrafted rookie's OVR rating is hidden, and is instead represented by a guess, based on available Scouting Reports. Rookies will continue to have their OVR hidden (represented by a random value from the team's scouting window) until that player plays in 3 games.

Throughout the season, teams may choose to spend their Team points on Scouting to hire Scouts. Increased rookie scouting ability will increase the accuracy of undrafted rookies' possible OVR rating range. Scouts have a Confidence %, meaning all the reports they generate have that % chance to be accurate. Inaccurate reports are essentially useless, so it's up to you to make the final draft day decisions!

What happens in the offseason?

The offseason consists of the following events: Retired Players, Re-Sign Players, Free Agent Bidding, Staff Firing and Hiring (coaches), Scouting Combine Results, and the Draft. Then, a new season schedule is created, and all teams' Scouting and Progression Cap values are reset to 0.

How do player contracts work?

Each team has a contract limit (by default, $240M). Each player has a contract value which is calculated based on position and OVR. The sum of all player contracts on a team must be less than the contract limit. During the offseason, each contract will expire unless re-signed by the coach. If a player's contract expires, they will be Cut, and that player will become a Free Agent. Players can be re-signed to contracts of multiple years. This will incur a smaller salary. However, cutting or trading a player before their contract is expired will result in Cap Penalties (25% of the player's promised salary for each of the years in his contract).

Players who have won a championship or earned an Award will demand a higher salary.

What are Mock Drafts?

Mock drafts are a type of speculation draft in which the media simulates a future draft and theorizes which teams will pick which players based on need. Mock drafts are popular in magazines and websites as they allow fans to speculate on which members of the collegiate ranks will join their favorite team and additionally allows for familiarization of the talent prior to the draft for those unfamiliar with college names. Mock drafts typically do not replicate the real methodology that team general managers use to choose players. Forecasting relies almost exclusively on per-position rankings and "best player available" methodology.

What else should I know?

Each season's schedule is pseudo-randomly generated based on NFL schedule creation rules.

What if I have feedback, problems, or suggestions?

You can email me at progressionfootballgame at gmail dot com!

How can I contribute?

Progression Football is created, updated, and paid for by one person.
If you enjoy this free game, please consider Donating via PayPal, or buying some cool stuff at the Store to help pay for server hosting costs to keep the game running!
To donate, please click the "Donate" button at the bottom of any page.
Or, visit the Store in the left sidebar!