Five potential Madden 22 cover stars.
For the game’s first 11 years, from 1990-2000, John Madden served as the cover star for the video game which bears his name. Beginning in 2001, however, EA Sports began using superstar athletes as the cover athletes for its’ marquee franchise, and who gets the nod is always a deeply-explored topic.
Since that time, the game has produced 22 iterations (20 seasons and two anniversary editions) and has featured a wide range of stars in the process (23 total). Those have included: five running backs, nine quarterbacks (including 2020 and 2021), six pass-catchers, and three defensive players. Only one year, 2010, has the game featured two athletes (safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald).
Now that we know that Lamar Jackson will be on the cover for 2021, we can begin to speculate about who may be the 2022 star who gets the nod. He follows 2020 Madden cover superstar Patrick Mahomes and makes for two consecutive quarterbacks and league MVPs to be selected (a rarity in Madden history).
Operating under the assumption that Madden will defer to history and attempt to diversify position groups featured, who may stand the best chance at the 2022 cover?
T5. Potential Madden 22 cover stars: George Kittle, TE, 49ers; Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
Rob Gronkowski is the only tight end to ever make the cover of Madden, and he did so in 2017. However, since Gronk has ushered in a new era of pass-catching, playmaking tight end superstars, it stands to reason that the league’s two current best tight ends will merit consideration for the much-anticipation selection.
Travis Kelce is the only tight end in NFL history to record four consecutive 1000 yard seasons, and after winning Super Bowl LIV seems like a near-lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In addition, despite playing in a smaller market (relatively), he plays for one of the most prolific offenses in football, with the best quarterback in the game, and has already begun establishing a national platform with his reality dating television show, “Catching Kelce”.
Inversely, George Kittle appears to be better positioned to carry the public face of the position into the next decade (relative-youth and size of the market). Not only does Kittle hold the record for most yards in a season by a tight end; but will likely continue to play big stage games, as the San Francisco 49ers appear well-positioned to compete in the NFC for the years to come.
Given their both larger than life personalities, their load-share in their respective offenses, their duel performances on the game’s biggest stage and their pending, seemingly inevitable contract-extensions – we think either (or both?) could be considered among the favorites to land the honor for Madden 22.