Each year since 1999, the Madden NFL video game has selected one notable National Football League player to grace the cover of the game. These Madden NFL cover athletes were each selected for the honor for one reason or another, such as being the best in the league at their position, winning the Super Bowl or doing something really awesome.
The popular football video game was first released in 1988 and initially featured Pro Football Hall of Fame former player turned broadcaster John Madden on the cover. In 1999, Electronic Arts started the trend of selecting one NFL player to appear on the cover, thus starting the Madden NFL cover athlete tradition. Garrison Hearst was the first to take the cover from Madden, appearing on the video game in 1999.
Just like NCAA Football cover athletes, the football players who have appeared on Madden NFL received a great honor that will be remembered for years to come. Vote up the best Madden NFL covers below.
- Photo: EA Sports
Alongside Troy Polamalu, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the second player on the Madden NFL 2010 cover.16866Great cover?
For the first time, the cover of Madden NFL featured two top football players for the 2010 edition. Safety Troy Polamalu, having just won the Super Bowl with his Pittsburgh Steelers, was one of the two selected.16363Great cover?
Patrick Mahomes II
Coming off winnning an MVP award in his second season as the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes was chosen as the cover athlete for Madden NFL 20. Mahomes, 23 at the time of announcement, became the third-youngest player selected for the honor after Michael Vick and Odell Beckham Jr.7512Great cover?
Quarterback Michael Vick was selected for the Madden NFL 2004 cover for his performance with the Atlanta Falcons. One day after the video game was released he broke his leg and missed the next 11 games. Other off-field issues, including a prison stay, followed in the next few years.12374Great cover?