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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Christian McCaffrey ‘checks all the boxes’ for Madden 25 cover athlete

Jun 9, 2024 at 4:28 PM

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San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey is an electrifying player and a key reason why head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense is so difficult to defend. McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,023 scrimmage yards and scored 21 total touchdowns during the 2023 season. He is the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

This outstanding performance has sparked speculation about McCaffrey's chances of becoming the cover athlete for the latest installment of the popular sports video game franchise, Madden 25.

EA Sports is set to unveil its pick for the Madden 25 cover athlete on Tuesday, and there is significant debate surrounding who deserves the honor. John Buhler of FanSided recently evaluated some popular candidates, including Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. However, in Buhler's opinion, McCaffrey would be the ideal choice.

"Christian McCaffrey checks all the boxes for what a video game franchise like Madden could want for a cover athlete," Buhler wrote. "He is a star athlete on one of the best teams in football, he is incredibly marketable and should be one of the most fun players to play with in this game. The fact that he can do it all from the running back position makes him an easy sell. Plus, he plays for the San Francisco 49ers. That helps."

McCaffrey's move from the Carolina Panthers to the 49ers has significantly boosted his marketability. He has become one of the prominent faces of a team that features several playmaking superstars.

The Madden NFL video game franchise, launched in 1988, has become a cornerstone of sports gaming. It allows fans to control NFL teams and players, manage franchises, and offers an immersive virtual football experience. The franchise remains one of the most influential in the gaming industry.

McCaffrey has never been on the cover of Madden. If selected, he would become the first 49ers player to grace the game's cover. Last year's edition featured Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

"[McCaffrey] plays for one of the handful of teams who can realistically win the Super Bowl," Buhler continued. "The fact he is pushing 30 probably suggests that either this year or next are probably his last chances of being on the cover. If I was in charge of picking out a cover athlete for this year's game, he would be my pick for it."

Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports recently ranked the top five players most deserving to be the cover athlete. McCaffrey was among his ideal selections.

"He's one of the more recognizable superstars in the NFL, a fantasy football stud and arguably the best running back in football," Sullivan wrote of the 49ers player. "That's a recipe for a Madden cover athlete if I've ever seen one. The Niners star is coming off a 2023 season where he won the league's Offensive Player of the Year award after leading the league in total yards from scrimmage (2,023) and total touchdowns (21). That type of season would seem to set the stage to land the Madden NFL 25 cover. If you've played Madden in recent years, you also know that McCaffrey is one of the most fun backs to use."

Matt Levine of Newsweek also likes the idea of making McCaffrey the cover athlete, writing, "After helping the 49ers to the Super Bowl last season, McCaffrey has taken on a whole new level of stardom. He has been one of the better running backs in the NFL for years, but he finally got to add some postseason success to his resume. It would be intriguing to have him on the cover simply because he is an explosive, popular figure around the league."

What do you think? Would you want to see McCaffrey on the cover of Madden 25? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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