Electronic Arts revealed that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the cover athlete for Madden NFL 18, which launches on August 25. Brady isn’t holding a football on the cover. Our guess is that EA couldn’t find one that was deflated to his ideal specifications during the shoot.
Jokes aside, the five-time Super Bowl champ has accomplished virtually every meaningful feat in the NFL, but this is the first time he will appear on the Madden cover. If you were to bet on anyone to avoid the Madden curse (players who suffer subpar or injury-plagued seasons after adorning the cover), it would be Brady.
After all, Brady led the Patriots to the most improbable of comebacks over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI earlier this year, and that was without the help of his best offensive weapon, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was sidelined for much of the season after suffering several injuries. Oh, by the way, Gronkowski was on the cover of Madden NFL 17 and became the latest victim of the curse.
Brady’s appearance marks the first time a pair of current teammates have appeared on back-to-back Madden covers. Stars who played for the same franchise have been the cover athletes in consecutive years, though. Now-retired Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson graced the cover of Madden NFL 13, and all-time-great running back Barry Sanders of the Lions appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 25 the following year.
The Madden NFL 18 cover is a great honor for me,” Brady said in a statement. “Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the Bay Area. I’m not one to believe in curses, so I’m ready to take the challenge head-on like always! It doesn’t stand a chance!!!”
Along with the reveal, EA teased that more information about the game, including the arrival of a new game mode, will be shown at its EA Play event June 10.
Pre-ordering the standard edition of Madden NFL 18 will get you an elite player of your choosing for use in the Ultimate Team game mode, and five squad packs. There’s also the GOAT (greatest of all time) edition of the game, which, in addition to the elite player and squad packs, will let you choose one of five designated GOAT players. Neither the elite or GOAT players have been revealed at this time, but we imagine Brady is one of the GOAT options.
Additionally, GOAT edition users will gain access to the game three days early on August 22. EA Access subscribers can play for up to 10 hours before launch starting August 17.