In Franchise mode, you can avoid receiving bad draft picks by trading your picks for the draft picks of the team with the worst record just before the week 6 trading deadline. The CPU will always accept. Alternately, wait until Week 17 then, turn off the trade deadline in your Franchise mode settings. Make the swap for a guaranteed First Overall pick and then turn the deadline back on so that no CPU teams can trade draft picks.
When re-signing players, go to your "Player Management" screen first and change the player that you want to re-sign to another position, such as a kicker or punter (the worst overall possible). Go back to re-sign that player for much less. Note: You cannot save the change unless you have enough players at that position after you change the player's position. For example, to change a cornerback to a kicker, you must have four other cornerbacks remaining.
Unlock the following accomplishments by performing the corresponding tasks:
ACCOMPLISHMENT - HOW TO UNLOCK Air Show - Throw five touchdowns with one player, pass for 300 yards with one player. Blitz in On - Record three sacks with two players. By Ground and Air - Rush for 150 yards and gain 150 receiving yards with one player. Can't Be Stopped - Gain 150 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns with one player. Carry the Load - Rush for 200 yards and score three rushing touchdowns with one player. Coming Out Of Nowhere - Record two sacks and three interceptions with one player. DB or Reciever? - Record five interceptions and return one for a touchdown with one player. Defensive Push - Record two sacks with three players. Defensive Menace - Record four sacks with one player. Don't Bother Getting Up - Record seven sacks with one player. Double Cover Who? - Gain 100 yards with three different receivers. Dual Threat - Pass for 200 yards and run for 100 yards with one player. Fair and Accurate - Complete 75% of your passes, do not throw any interceptions, complete a pass to seven different receivers. Game Breaker - Return a punt for a touchdown and score two receiving touchdowns with one player. Like Lightning - Record four sacks with one player. Pass The Flipper - Gain 300 yards receiving and score five receiving touchdowns. QB's Nightmare - Record three sacks and two interceptions with one player. Sack and Strip - Record three sacks and force two fumbles with one player. Scary Secondary - Record two interceptions with two players. Shut Down Coverage - Record three interceptions with one player. The Dutchman - Throw seven touchdown passes with one player, throw for 500 yards with one player. The Kansas Comet - Rush for 300 yards and score six rushing touchdowns with one player. The Sack Man - Record seven sacks with one player. Two Headed Monster - Rush for 100 yards each with two players.
Go to the Creation Zone and select "Create New Player". When creating a player, make him a rookie then select a team. When it is time to rate your player, set him to 99 in all attributes. When finished, go to Superstar mode, select "Use Rookie As Superstar", and find your created player from the menu.
ACHIEVEMENT - HOW TO UNLOCK Very Special Teams (100 points) - Return 2 kicks for touchdowns in one game with one player (no OTP). Butterfingers (50 points) - Force 3 fumbles in a game (no OTP). Man Dozer (25 points) - Rush for 50 yards after the first hit in one game (no OTP). He's Got All Day (20 points) - Stay in the pocket for 10 seconds (no OTP). Did I Break It? (40 points) - Win a game by at least 59 points (max qtr. len. 7 min, no OTP). Winning Isn't Everything (75 points) - Catch 21 passes in a game with one player (no OTP). Old Spice Swagger Return (45 points) - Return a punt for a touchdown (no OTP). Comeback Kids (40 points) - Win after being behind in the last 2 min of a game (no OTP, min qtr. len. 3 min). No Offense (50 points) - Intercept 5 passes in a game (no OTP). Fantasy Freak (25 points) - Rush for over 200 yards in a game with one player (no OTP). The Elusive Man (25 points) - Break 5 tackles in a game with one player (no OTP). Perfect Game (50 points) - Have a perfect passer rating in a game (no OTP). Home Run (25 points) - Break an 80+ yard touchdown run (no OTP). Old Spice Swagger Pick 6 (25 points) - Intercept a pass and return it for a touchdown (no OTP). YACtastic (35 points) - Have over 100 YAC in one game (no OTP). Pick Up 6 (75 points) - Win a Fight for the Fumble in the end zone for a TD (no OTP). Deadly Accurate (30 points) - Have a 92% or higher completion percentage in a game (min 20 att., no OTP). Laces Out (40 points) - Kick a 60+ yard Field Goal (no OTP). Madden Moments (100 points) - Complete the "Super Bowl Sunday" Madden Moment. Defensive Dominance (75 points) - Hold your opponent to under 100 yards of offense (min qtr. len. 5 min, no OTP). Sack Master (25 points) - Record 5 sacks in a game with one player (no OTP). Verizon Master Strategist (5 points) - Create a custom Gameplan. Thanks For Coming (10 points) - Play the Pro Bowl (Franchise Mode). Nano (10 points) - Tackle the QB before he can hand the ball off (no OTP).
In Franchise mode off-season, after re-signing your players, save the game and enter Free Agent mode. If you do not like the free agents available (for example, if you need a top wide receiver and there are none), reload the game until the players that are available are ones you want. You can also do this to make your division easier. For example, if you are the Jets and Randy Moss goes from the Patriots to the Rams then you do not have to worry about facing a player like that twice a season.