Now that all of the player and team ratings have been posted to the Madden NFL 15 website, EA Sports has to find something else to talk about in their new game, so they've decided to let us all in on what to expect with Madden 15's enhanced Connected Franchise mode.

The biggest changes to the mode come via the addition of Game Prep and Confidence. Game Prep replaces the Practice portion of Franchise in Madden 25, while Confidence takes the place of the Hot and Cold streaks. As the main site explains, "Game Prep allows players to make sure their team is prepared every week, and allows them to earn valuable XP for backups and young players" while Confidence ratings "will change based on what happens to the player and his team from week to week, and is not an indication of how confident the player generally is in real life." The Confidence ratings will range from one to 99, like any other player rating, and will impact how that player performs on game day.

Off-season Free Agency has also seen a major overhaul, making signing and evaluating free agents more realistic than ever. Now when a free agent wants to sign with your team, money is not the only deciding factor. You can look at the player's opinion on your team's needs, the coach's abilities, the offensive or defensive scheme in place, and more in order to gauge that player's interest. We can't just throw money at our favorite players any more, unfortunately.

The last big changes come in two areas that now run on randomly generated systems: the NFL Draft and rookie storylines. Every player in every draft class is now randomly generated; no two players will ever be the same. This makes every draft class unique, just like the real life draft, and makes planning for the future that much tougher. While evaluating players coming into the draft, the game will generate random storylines for those upcoming rookies, making them rise and fall on the mock drafts based on performance, injury, and whatever else the game wants to throw at us.

Running a NFL franchise in Madden has never been so close to the real thing, and we'll be able to play it for ourselves with Madden NFL 15 launches Aug. 26 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.