The Madden curse seems to be a thing of the past, which leaves the door open for the cover spot to be a celebration of football.
It is for this aim that an online petition has started to have Washington Redskins and Miami Hurricanes legend Sean Taylor on the cover of the next game.
Why Sean Taylor?
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The iconic safety tragically lost his life in November 2007 defending his home & family during a burglary.
Taylor, who wore #21 for Washington, was in his fourth season in the NFL and on his way to being one of the best players of his generation when his life was cut short.
The petition on change.org argues that he should be honored as an alternate cover star for EA's flagship series when Madden 21 drops in August 2020.
Taylor wouldn't be the first former player to appear on a cover. In 2013 Madden celebrated its 25th anniversary by putting Barry Sanders on the cover. The Detroit Lions running back retired after the 1998 season, but that didn't stop EA from choosing him.
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Madden 21, just like Madden 25, coincides with the arrival of next-gen consoles. For Madden 25, they used Sanders on the original cover and then Adrian Peterson on the next-gen release.
EA could do a similar move with Madden 21. They can put Sean Taylor on the cover for the Xbox One & PS4 release, and then use a contemporary star like Derrick Henry when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X version comes out later in the year.
Who is likely to be the cover star?
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There are several leading candidates for the Madden 21 cover already.
The presumptive MVP Lamar Jackson would be the clear favorite, but other players that had breakout campaigns like Derrick Henry, Chris Godwin, or TJ Watt could well find themselves the next in line for the coveted position.
However, it would be fitting for Madden, who use former players to maintain content in Ultimate Team, to honor someone whose career was cut tragically short.