If you want the most amount of money possible to sign your high overall first-stringers you need to sign your second stringers to amazing deals. In order to do this, you need to sign them to a 7/yr deal to 3.85 million.
Madden wants you to negotiate with players during the regular season which 99% of the time if you offer them the contract they want they will not sign it on the first offer. However, the players are much more willing to sign a better deal during the offseason signing period or the Free Agency signing period.
Offer any player that has no bids on them a 7 year deal for 550k salary and 0 signing bonus. 0 signing bonus means no guarantees so you can trade them away also if you do not like them or they start to age without any cap hit penalty. High overall HB’s with no bids have a decent likelihood of signing it as well, along with 70 plus overall CB’s.
It will take about two years to get your backups situated but after you do you will have a lot more money for higher overall players. You will also be able to trade them away at age 29 and more than likely get a next year’s higher round draft pick.