We have some time to kill before Madden 21 is officially here, but that won't stop the debate for who should make the cover this year.
Madden 21 will be the franchise's first installment on the next gen consoles, so choosing the right face of this game will be important. After all, this pick will directly help the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Making the Madden cover is a stellar achievement that few ever reach.
Admittedly, its not a Super Bowl or MVP title. But the series has been going long enough that players in the league grew up playing it, and picturing themselves on the cover.
It's not all sunshine and roses though, the infamous Madden curse has proven to see no less than six superstars suffer very bad injuries or fall off in production following their selection for the game cover.
It's debatable whether it lived on this year with cover star Patrick Mahomes missing a few games with an injury. However, he's also made the Super Bowl so I don't think he's too worried.
So who are the front runners to take on the curse and land the cover of Madden 21?
HERO: Many players still look up Sean Taylor as an idol
Sean Taylor was a very popular player, known for big hits, that tragically lost his life in November 2007 defending his home & family during a burglary.
Taylor wore #21 for the Redskins and it would be an emotional honor to give him the Madden 21 cover as a tribute. There is a 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.
There is previous for EA choosing to opt for former players over current stars. 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.
DOMINANT: There's a reason he has a Team of the Year card
Kittle has set the league on fire with his big plays and rough play style. His enthusiasm is infectious and he has the results to back it up, he holds the record for the most receiving yards in a season by a TE. With the 49ers in the Super Bowl, it only strengthens his case if he comes up with some big plays on the biggest of stages.
EA Sports have previously for TE's too, choosing a similarly popular Rob Gronkowski in 2017. Although the curse got hold of him that season.
POSTER BOY: McCaffrey is ALL football
Christian McCaffrey does everything right and somehow still goes under the radar a little. During this 2019 season, McCaffrey became only the 4th player in NFL history to register 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving.
He has caught the national spotlight as he has metaphorically put the Caroline Panthers on his back this season with Cam Newton being out. His great attitude and excellent results are endearing and prime potential to be on a cover.
MVP: An absolute certainty to win NFL MVP 2019
At -5000 or 1/50 odds to be NFL MVP 2019 (if you bet $100 you would win $2 profit if it happened) he is pretty much locked in, and after leading the league in Passing TDs at the same time as rushing for the 6th most yards in the league despite not being a HB - its easy to see why.
Eight QB's have graced the cover in the last 20 years, including last year's NFL MVP Pat Mahomes. The only way we would see Jackson not picked would be to try not to have multiple QB's in a row. However, this does have precedent with Vince Young and Brett Favre in 2008 and 2009.
Who do you think will be on the cover of Madden 21?