Antonio Brown Announced as Madden 19 Cover Athlete

EA announced today that Antonio Brown will be the cover athlete for next year’s Madden, set to release in August. The cover of the game is highly coveted by NFL players, requiring both skill and widespread fan recognition. It has been a super-superstar every single year, except 2012 when EA allowed the internet to vote and ended up with Browns RB Peyton Hillis

“I am beyond honored to be on the cover of both Madden games,” said Brown in a press release. “There’s a lot of milestones athletes dream of… appearing on the cover of this year’s games, it’s clear that business is not just booming, but I’m also among the all-time greatest with these honors.”

The list of past cover athletes includes Ray Lewis, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Barry Sanders, and Brett Favre. It’s effectively a list of some of the top players throughout history. 

Brown is the fourth wide receiver to be honored after Larry Fitzgerald in 2010, Calvin Johnson in 2013 and Odell Beckham Jr. in 2016. Since Eddie George became the first player on the cover, after they ran out of good images of Madden himself, there have been seven QBs, five RBs, four WRs and three defensive players. 

“AB has taken the league by storm the past few years and is arguably one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL,” said Joshua Rabenovets, Sr. Brand Director at EA SPORTS in a press release. “His game is hot, he’s got a ton of personality on and off the field – he was an easy choice for the Madden NFL 19 cover.”

One thing possibly on Brown’s mind could be the Madden cover curse. It’s a funny topic and likely entirely coincidental but a large percentage of the players who have graced the cover have had serious injuries in the following two years. Recently Richard Sherman (Madden 2015, injured 2017) Odell Beckham (Madden 2016, injured 2017) and Rob Gronkowski (Madden 2017, injured 2017) have all fallen victim to the curse. Maybe 2017 was just a bad year in general though. Hopefully Brown doesn’t fall victim to the curse because there is no doubt he is one of the most electric players in the NFL. 

Check Out The New Madden 19 Trailer

The latest Madden trailer dropped at E3 and, while it doesn’t give a great idea of what gameplay feels like, it’s packed with moments.
The trailer primarily focuses on the first and second picks of the NFL Draft – Baker Mayfield for the Browns and Saquon Barkley for the Giants. (Here’s how experts across the web felt about those picks.) Here’s the trailer:

It makes sense to focus on draftees because despite updating the graphics or player motion every year, the most significant change in each iteration of Madden is the updated rosters.
EA hasn’t released gameplay videos yet but those will be coming out this week. For now, all we have to go in is testimonials from people at the E3 demo.
One of those people was YouTuber EricRayweather who said, “The animations are pretty incredible, especially catching and hit sticks.”
The new animation style is called “Real Player Motion” and comes from the Frostbite game engine. Frostbite was first introduced into Madden 18 but only in some story modes. Now it appears the engine will be used throughout the game.
This is significant because some of EA’s more lifelike games – FIFA and Battlefield – have been using the engine for years. As EA tries to turn Madden into a true esport, they will need more realism and less easily abused glitches, hopefully the Frostbite engine helps with that.