A player's contract is how long they are signed to a team. Players are signed for a certain number of games and their salary is paid by the team for the contract. You do not need to keep a player for their entire contract period, however their salary remains paid. Contracts are set when Free Agents are signed or a League Player is traded in Fore-Season. When a contract expires, you have a chance to renew it, trade them, or let them go. If you let them go, the become a Free Agent and can be signed by another team.