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Squib kicks are used to kill a bit of time and keep the designated catcher from handling the ball. I can't comment on game mechanics though.
Onside kicks are typically used in desperate situations where a team absolutely has to have possession of the ball. For example, if a team is down with only 30 seconds left on the clock during the forth quarter they must use an onside kick if they want any shot of actually winning the game. I've only done it once in a Madden 12 and I failed so I can't actually help on the game mechanic.
4th downs: Generally you'll punt the ball in most situations. Going for it comes down to personal preference. You have to weigh the reward of keeping possession of the ball against the risk of turning it over.
Use no huddle if you want to keep the opponent's defense off balance or if you are racing against the clock and don't want to spend a timeout.
Man coverage is considered good for short passes and running plays, but it can give up big yardage if a receiver goes deep and beats the man assigned to cover him. Zone coverage is typically good for preventing big passes but may leave lots of gaps open for short receptions and running plays.
Playoff seeding is determined by the win-loss records of teams. The wikipedia article can explain it in more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Football_League_playoffs#Current_playoff_system
-when is it a good time to trade, and when is it a good time to scout for rookies in Franchise mode?
-is it worth it to trade multiple players for one single player in Franchise mode?
Trade time depends on whether or not you turn off the usual deadline of Week 6. If you turn it off, you should be able to trade the entire season. They also let you trade during the draft.
"Worth" depends on the player involved. I personally never trade away multiple people for one other guy.
Since you're new to Madden, you're probably not aware of some of the "cheap" tactics you can exploit in Franchise mode. For instance:
1. Since my team always has a good season record, I know that my draft pick will be high. So when week 6 comes, I trade my picks away to the worst team at that time. So in the actual draft, I have a high pick.
2. Signing rookies for cheap. I tend to not draft 1st round picks because they'll ask for crazy high contracts. I'll trade away my 1st round for a 2nd/3rd plus a pick or two in the next year's draft.
3. Re-signing people for dirt cheap. Once a player's contract expires on your team, switch his position to something he sucks at, usually to a kicker. Then resign him for a bare minimum contract. I usually do 7 years with no bonus (so you can cut them anytime without penalty). Same concept for signing free agents too.
4. Cheap scouting. When you scout, you can arrange the players by potential even though their abilities won't be displayed yet.
5. Changing positions for the better. A lot of linebackers will make great defensive ends, usually increasing their overall rating by a few points. Most linemen become better if you convert them from tackle to guard as well. Just play around with different position switches.