Who Will Be Madden 25 Cover Athlete? Travis Kelce, C.J. Stroud, Justin Jefferson Among PFN Predictions

    With EA Sports expected to name the Madden 25 cover athlete soon, Pro Football Network staff members picked the most likely candidates.

    With so much attention given to the new EA Sports College Football 25 game set to release in July, it feels like Madden has taken a back seat this year. However, with the new Madden cover athlete set to be announced, all that is expected to change.

    Pro Football Network’s staff looked at the history of the mega-popular game and how the NFL has unfolded over the last few seasons to vote on who may dawn the cover ahead of the big announcement.

    Update: EA Sports officially announced that San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey will be the Madden NFL 25 cover athlete.

    Who Does Pro Football Network Predict as Madden 25’s Cover Athlete?

    There was a wide array of answers provided by the staff, but when it all boiled down, these five names stood out above the rest. Here are five NFL players that PFN thinks could be the next cover athlete for the Madden 25 video game.

    Travis Kelce

    If you’ve been paying attention to the NFL even a little bit, you would know why this selection makes too much sense. The Kelce family has been everywhere over the last two seasons, and though Travis has been able to do nearly everything, he’s yet to add a Madden cover to his résumé.

    Fresh off his second consecutive Super Bowl title, it might make too much sense to put the Kansas City Chiefs tight end on the cover.

    C.J. Stroud

    C.J. Stroud came into the NFL and took the league by storm. The Houston Texans’ second-year QB looks to be on a superstar trajectory and has a chance to propel into the “face of the league category” with another quality season.

    What says, “I have arrived, and I’m here to stay,” quite like being on the latest version of Madden? It would be a risk for the decision-makers to put a player on the cover after just one season, something Madden hasn’t done very often, with the most notable second-year player being Vince Young.

    Still, Stroud looks to be as close to a sure thing as we’ve seen in a long time, and his impressive rookie season may have him primed for this opportunity.

    Justin Jefferson

    What an offseason this would be for Justin Jefferson. Fresh off becoming the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history, why not add Madden cover athlete to his résumé as well?

    The Minnesota Vikings WR is a mega-star in every sense of the term and one of the most popular players in the league. Put Jefferson on the cover, and Madden can easily continue riding the momentum that is Jefferson’s young NFL career.

    Christian McCaffrey

    There isn’t a better running back in the NFL than Christian McCaffrey, and with him fresh off another excellent season with the San Francisco 49ers, this could be another great choice Madden could make.

    Swagger, production, name recognition, McCaffrey has it all. There hasn’t been an RB on the cover in 10 years — ironically, when it was Adrian Peterson on the cover of “Madden 25” for the game’s 25th anniversary. Maybe this makes too much sense after all.

    Micah Parsons

    The only defensive player on this list is Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons, and the idea of him on the cover may not be far-fetched. Parsons is a huge advocate of the game and has been active in the Madden community since joining the NFL.

    A defensive player hasn’t dawned the cover of Madden since Madden 15 when Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman was the selection. However, with Madden overdue to give the other side of the ball some love, Parsons could be the perfect choice.

    He’s also a superstar who plays for the most polarizing team in all of American sports. Putting Parsons on the cover would engage all sorts of reactions from fans, but I don’t think anyone could discount the validity of the choice.

    Who Was Last Year’s Cover Athlete?

    For obvious reasons, quarterbacks are popular choices for the Madden cover. They are the leaders of the team, the heart and soul of a franchise, and oftentimes, bear the brunt of the responsibility for a won or lost season.

    Madden understands that, and last season, picked one of the best in the league in Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, to be its cover athlete.

    Allen is one of the NFL’s biggest stars and was a relatively easy choice for a Madden cover.

    How Does Madden Decide Who Should Be on the Cover Each Year?

    The decision of who goes on the latest Madden cover is a collaborative effort for EA Sports. Those within the building will decide from a list of worthy candidates and decide on in-house. At times, they’ve allowed fans to have a say as well and, over the years, have provided a poll for their loyal fans to help decide.

    MORE: History of Madden Cover: Who Has Earned the Honor?

    Nevertheless, the decision ultimately comes down to what EA wants, but several factors go into the decision (e.g. the player is even interested in doing so and how certain players perform the year prior).

    What Is the Madden Curse?

    If you believe in bad luck and you’re a football fan, you may already know about the “Madden Curse.”

    The infamous jinx has grown in mystery over the years, but the premise is rooted around the player who is featured on the cover of EA Sports’ annual NFL game and their alleged pending doom for doing so.

    Whether it be bad luck, a decline in their play, or some cases, even injury, something is expected to happen to those who grace the cover.

    Some examples of the Madden Curse include the most famous case of them all. After Michael Vick was announced to be the cover athlete for Madden in 2004, he broke his fibula and missed 11 games that season. If people weren’t bought in on the Madden Curse theory yet, that occurrence certainly added some validity to the situation.

    KEEP READING: Is the Madden Curse Real?

    Another example involved the GOAT, Tom Brady. While Brady was on the cover in 2018, he would make it back to the Super Bowl once again. Yet, shockingly, he lost to backup QB Nick Foles and the Eagles to give Philadelphia its first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

    It wasn’t an injury or an off-the-field incident that had hurt Brady and had people talking curse; it was the disappointing loss to a backup QB after what looked to be a promising season for the Patriots.

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