Which Madden Cover Running Backs and Wide Receivers Had the Best Seasons?

Which Madden Cover Running Backs and Wide Receivers Had the Best Seasons?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Now that we know who will grace the cover of the 2023 edition of the NFL’s omnipresent video game, it’s time to stack up where the next cover athlete ranks among those that came before him.   

Following the announcement of Josh Allen as the Madden 24 cover athlete, BetTennessee.com detoured from Tennessee sportsbooks and utilized ProFootballReference.com's approximate value stat to determine which players have had the most productive seasons, while gracing the cover.

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Madden Cover Athletes (WR/RB) with the Best Seasons

 In this list, we ranked all cover running backs and wide receivers. Barry Sanders was excluded as he was retired when on the cover of Madden 25 (2014). 

Madden/Year Player Approximate Value Notable Stats
Madden 13 (2012)Calvin Johnson14122 Receptions, 1,964 Receiving Yards, 5 Receiving TDs
Madden 01 (2000)Eddie George141,509 Rushing Yards, 14 Rushing TDs, 50 Receptions, 453 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs
Madden 16 (2015)Odell Beckham Jr.1396 Receptions, 1,450 Receiving Yards, 13 Receiving TDs
Madden 19 (2018)Antonio Brown10104 Receptions, 1,297 Receiving Yards, 15 Receiving TDs
Madden 10 (2009)Larry Fitzgerald997 Receptions, 1,092 Yards, 13 Receiving TDs
Madden 03 (2002)Marshall Faulk9953 Rushing Yards, 8 Rushing TDs, 80 Receptions, 537 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TDs

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How Eddie George’s 2000 Season Ranks Among Madden Cover Athletes

When it comes to Tennessee NFL athletes to grace the cover of Madden, former All-Pro running back Eddie George stands alone. (Although a great season by Derrick Henry could get him on the cover and would improve the Titans' Super Bowl odds.)

George is the only Titans player to make it on the cover of the NFL game, serving as the cover athlete for Madden 01, after being named a first-team All-Pro member for his 1,300-yard, 9 rushing touchdown performance during the team’s Super Bowl run in 1999.  

George put up even better numbers in 2000, gaining a career-high 1,509 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on 403 carries while hauling in a record 50 catches for the Titans out of the backfield.  

The former Ohio State Buckeye would post an approximate value (per Pro Football Reference’s metrics) of 14, tying former Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson for the highest figure of any Madden cover athlete.  

George would play four additional seasons in the NFL between the Titans and Dallas Cowboys, rushing for more than 1,000 yards twice (in 2002 and 2003), before hanging up the spikes in 2004.  

For his career, the former Titans running back, and current Tennessee State University head football coach gained 10,441 yards on the ground with 68 touchdowns on 2,865 attempts, while snagging 268 catches for 2,227 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air.  

Despite not being enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, George remains one of (if not the) best running back in Titans history, serving as a high water mark for Madden cover athletes along the way.  

While Allen won’t rank on the Madden cover athlete leaderboard for running backs and wideouts, he’ll still have a shot at trying to match the value that former cover athletes like George had during their year gracing the game’s cover.  

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Christopher Boan writes for BetTennessee.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.