Madden Failed to Make the Obvious Choice

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Last week, the EA Sports Madden NFL 25 cover was revealed, and San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey was unveiled as the cover athlete. Seeing the massive producer miss such an obvious Justin Jefferson marketing opportunity was disappointing.

Madden Failed to Make the Obvious Choice

First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with suggesting that Christian McCaffrey is a superstar. The 49ers running back certainly transcends the position, and when playing with someone like Deebo Samuel, the pair is truly developed as offensive weapons. Beyond that, though, the total fit seems to make little sense.

justin jefferson
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Yes, McCaffrey went to the Super Bowl last season and met up with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They lost that game, though, and without a ring, they ended their season the way all but one other team did. McCaffrey also primarily plays a position that has become somewhat faceless across the league. Running backs have never been valued less, and top backs have never found fewer opportunities to be individually featured. It’s a good thing that the 49ers are a coastal team, as that props their notoriety up nationally, but that’s more of a team brand than an individual one.

With someone like Justin Jefferson as another choice for this cycle, things seemed to align perfectly. The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver just inked the most lucrative non-quarterback deal in NFL history. Although that came in July, there was never a logical reason that the extension wouldn’t get done before going into the final year of his rookie deal. The time for him to get paid was now, and based on production known for months, he was always going to grab the bag.

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Despite not having quarterback continuity last season, Jefferson still topped the 1,000-yard mark individually. The Vikings didn’t have a winning record in year two under Kevin O’Connell but dealt with significant injury adversity.

They may not have a winning record in year three, but with a top rookie quarterback, the intrigue might not be more palpable than any season in recent history.

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

Jefferson is also a marketing dream. From his flashy style to his personable charisma, his smiling face on the cover while hitting The Griddy could have done numbers. Maybe a regional cover is how the franchise can go in the future, but it’s hard not to question why a wide receiver wouldn’t have been the choice over a running back. If it wasn’t going to be a quarterback, then the next biggest name in the league plays for Minnesota.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.