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49ers RB Christian McCaffrey named Madden 25 cover athlete

Jun 11, 2024 at 8:26 AM

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EA Sports has announced that San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey will be the featured athlete on the cover of the latest edition of the popular football video game franchise, Madden NFL 25.

"It's really a dream come true. I think this is something that I never really expected," McCaffrey told USA TODAY Sports. "When I got the call, it was such a great surprise. I was on cloud nine."

This marks McCaffrey's first appearance on the worldwide cover of the game and the first for a 49ers player. Garrison Hearst was on the international edition in 1999. McCaffrey is the first running back on the cover since Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson in 2014.

"It's just extremely humbling," McCaffrey said. "It's a good thing for Niners fans and me and my family, but really just I feel so grateful to be a part of a great organization that's helped me have so much success and reach a milestone like this in my career."

McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,023 scrimmage yards and accounted for 21 total touchdowns last season. His 1,459 rushing yards were a career-high and the most in the league. It's a performance that earned him NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors.

"He's one of the more recognizable superstars in the NFL, a fantasy football stud and arguably the best running back in football," Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports recently wrote. "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 and total touchdowns. 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."

McCaffrey joined the 49ers via a mid-season trade in 2022 and has become an integral part of head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. San Francisco recently signed the running back to a contract extension that will keep him in the Bay Area through the 2027 season.

"He's obviously the offensive MVP for a reason," 49ers run game coordinator and offensive line coach Chris Foerster recently said. "He's a great football player. He could probably do everything, whether he's a blocker, whether he's a runner, whether he's a pass catcher, whether he's a route runner at receiver, running back, whatever it is. He can do everything but play offensive line on this team.

"And so the fact that he can do all these different things makes him [multi-faceted]. You can use him in so many different ways. [Head coach] Kyle's [Shanahan] able to use him in so many different ways and plug him in the offense, and he becomes a matchup problem for defenses."

Foerster added, "He is the heartbeat of this football team. He does everything right and does everything well."

For those worried about any "Madden curse," McCaffrey is unconcerned, saying, "I definitely don't buy into it."

The game will be released on August 16.

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