Despite the fact that it isn’t even June at the time of publication, Madden season is already in full swing. That’s because the annual Madden beta usually starts in June. Although EA hasn’t revealed a Madden 24 beta start date just yet, it’s likely that we will soon learn about it. We’ll definitely receive a cover expose in addition to that news. A professional athlete for the Madden cover is the subject of friendly debate and conjecture each year. Who is deserving? To whom will it go? If you poll 20 football enthusiasts, you should receive at least 15 different answers.
Like we did in 2015 (when we really gave it some attention, might we add), we’re examining the potential Madden 24 cover stars and explaining why each NFL superstar deserves the honour. Please share your best estimates as well, especially if you think we completely overlooked someone.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB
The Eagles quarterback might be the clear favourite because he possesses the traits that most current Madden cover stars possess, including an excellent in-game score at a key position, off-the-field star power, and the fact that he is still young and developing. Hurts’ climb to the top of the league’s QB rankings and the well-known video of him crouching 600 lbs. make him appear cooler than perhaps everyone else on our list. EA appreciates a hip option—someone cool with the youth—and he fits the bill. He recently lost the Super Bowl, and winning it would undoubtedly make him seem a little cooler. This is the only thing going against him.
Joe Burrow, Bengals QB
Naturally, we can’t discuss cool without mentioning another quarterback, Joe Burrow of the Bengals. Burrow’s resume still has back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship game and some of the top QB play in the league, despite poor offensive line play and an injury during his first season. Many people would not object if you dubbed him one of the top three quarterbacks. Although it was a few years ago, he also lost a Super Bowl; perhaps he won’t carry that baggage to the Madden cover.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs TE
Since many years ago, most Madden covers have featured quarterbacks, wide receivers, or running backs. The only one that has truly had a tight end in it so far is Madden 17 with Rob Gronkowski. History does not favour Kelce. most other people are. He has a sizable following, a sizable podcast, and many football experts believe that he is either the best tight end in NFL history or just second behind Gronk. He is also a champion protector, which is not harmful. Bringing up that podcast…
The Kelce Brothers, Travis (Chiefs TE) and Jason (Eagles C)
The one that is the most unconventional is also the one that I am starting to like the most as I write this post. The Kelce Brothers are the Eagles centre Jason and the aforementioned Travis. Following their Super Bowl matchup, which involved a child brother Travis triumphed, and Jason subsequently decided against retiring after considering it, which suggests he’s getting close. The publisher may decide to create its third-ever two-player cover and include the twins on it together if it wants to tap into the fandom that surrounds Madden and the NFL. If it’s even feasible for Madden, the only NFL simulation available, to have a larger audience, its podcast, New Heights, is among the most significant in any genre right now. Even so, I’m sure EA would appreciate the brothers appearing in Madden 24 commercials during each episode.
Justin Jefferson, Vikings WR
I gave other pass receivers—AJ Brown, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tyreek Hill—some thought, but ultimately I think just one makes sense. Jefferson not only possesses the skills but also the character to be the league’s best receiving talent. He made the Griddy dance so well-known that it appeared in Fortnite as well as Madden. Whether he’s dancing on the cover this August or torching DBs, he just looks the part.
Aaron Rodgers, Jets QB
This one would be kind of humorous. If EA chose to feature Aaron Rodgers on the cover, it may have been in response to a callback. Brett Favre was featured on the Madden 2009 cover, as Madden historians will recall. Later that summer, Favre was moved to the Jets, and EA updated the cover to feature Favre’s new squad. Recent transfer of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the Jets may have given Madden gamers and football enthusiasts a sense of déjà vu.
We’re past the time where EA would need to “repair” the cover, but I could imagine the publisher releasing a Jets-Rodgers cover for launch and then later having a downloadable or reversible cover that pays homage to Rodgers’ illustrious Packers career.
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Jets CB
There was no greater rookie in 2015 than Jets cornerback Ahmad Gardner, who is better known by the nickname “Sauce.” EA doesn’t put many protective players on the Madden cover, but it has occasionally done so when it made sense from a gameplay perspective (Ray Lewis on Madden 2005 after Tiburon introduced the Hit Stick), or just because the protector is that good (Richard Sherman on Madden 15 during the Legion of Boom heyday in Seattle).
Although a protector is not likely, Sauce is perhaps the most likely candidate among them because he has the support of young people, has a likely rising Madden ranking, and plays in the massive New York market, even though his team’s reputation is generally lower than that of the Giants, who share the same stadium. Full disclosure: I originally thought of making Micah Parsons my only guardian on this list, but because Parsons is already a licenced star, I believe Sauce’s trajectory is still at a position where EA can lock on to its metaphorical space rocket before it leaves the environment.
Stay tuned for further discussion about Madden NFL 24 as we get closer to the big reveal, which must happen sometime in June before the anticipated August release on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.