The history of the Madden NFL cover has been one of prestige. In the 24 years since it began, players have capitalized on the fame that comes with being the one featured on one of the most popular video games ever -- and some have endured the hardships of a " ."
From Eddie George to Patrick Mahomes, the Madden NFL cover has highlighted the best of the best. There wasn't a cover athlete for Madden last year, as the video game chose to honor John Madden in the months after his passing.
The cover athlete will return this year and will be announced Wednesday, June 7, as EA Sports teased in a recent tweet. So who will it be? We'll take a look below at the most deserving -- keeping in mind that players who've been on the cover in the past are out, so no Patrick Mahomes. These are the five NFL players we think have the best opportunity to be on the Madden NFL 24 cover.
Burrow would be an excellent addition to the Madden cover, based only on what he has been able to accomplish over the last two seasons. Burrow has taken the Bengals to consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances, after finishing a season tied for second in the NFL in passing touchdowns (35), while ranking fifth in completions (414), fifth in passing yards (4,475) and sixth in passer rating (100.8).
Over the last two seasons, Burrow leads the NFL in passer rating (104.8) and his third in the NFL in touchdown passes (69), Burrow is well known in NFL circles and should be considered as one of the biggest stars in the league.
The Bengals have never had a player on the Madden cover.
The only non-quarterback on this list, it will only be a matter of time before Jefferson graces the Madden cover. Jefferson set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a player's first three seasons in NFL history (4,248), passing Odell Beckham Jr. (4,122) and Randy Moss (4,163). He also has the NFL record for most receptions (324) after a player's first three seasons.
Jefferson led the NFL in catches (128) and yards (1,809) last season. The game's best wide receiver should be on a Madden cover.
Daunte Culpepper was the last Vikings player on the Madden cover, and that was for Madden 2002.
Allen is one of the most recognizable quarterbacks in the NFL and is one of the game's best. The most total touchdowns in NFL history after a player's first five seasons (177), Allen is coming off a season which he threw for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 762 yards and seven touchdowns.
The only player ever to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 750 yards in a season -- and he's accomplished this twice -- Allen would make an ideal cover athlete for Madden 24. Doesn't hurt he also has been reportedly seen with actress Hailee Steinfeld and is in numerous Gillette commercials.
The Bills also have never had a player on the Madden cover.
One of the rising stars of the NFL, Hurts could be the second Eagles quarterback to grace the Madden cover (Donovan McNabb was on Madden 2006). Hurts had a huge year in 2022, completing 66.5% of his passes for 4,280 yards with 25 touchdowns to just six interceptions for a 100.8 passer rating in his 18 starts (including playoffs), while also having 903 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. Hurts reached 5,183 total yards and 43 total touchdowns to just seven turnovers in his 18 starts, as the Eagles were 16-2 in those starts.
Hurts had one of the best games of his career in the Super Bowl LVII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, completing 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards with a touchdown and a 103.4 passer rating. He also added 15 carries for 70 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in a Super Bowl.
Hurts is the first player in NFL history with 300 passing yards, 70 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a game -- in the Super Bowl. Might be a matter of time before he appears on the cover.
Lawrence is becoming one of the game's best quarterbacks, and he already is one of the league's rising stars. He completed 66.3% of his passes for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns to just eight interceptions for a 95.2 passer rating in 2022. Lawrence has the largest increase in passer rating for a No. 1 overall pick from Year 1 to Year 2 since Terry Bradshaw (1970 to 1971), raising his passer rating from 71.9 to 95.2 (+23.3 points).
He also was one of four players with 20-plus passing touchdowns and five-plus rushing touchdowns this season, joining Allen, Hurts and Burrow.
The Jaguars have never had a player on the Madden cover. Lawrence should be the first.