ARIZONA CARDINALS

Madden NFL 25 cover athlete is 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey

Jun 11, 2024, 10:23 AM | Updated: 1:00 pm

Madden25 cover of San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey...

Madden25 cover of San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey grew up playing the Madden NFL video game with his brother, dreaming of being a player in the league one day.

Getting on the cover of the famed video game was never even a consideration.

Electronic Arts Inc. announced Tuesday that the San Francisco 49ers star running back will be on the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 25 that launches worldwide on Aug. 16.

“It’s a huge honor,” McCaffrey said. “It’s something that I never really imagined happening to me. I always envisioned playing in the league and having success in the league. But being on the cover of Madden just never crossed my mind. I never thought that would happen to me.”

McCaffrey won the AP Offensive Player of the Year last season when he helped San Francisco reach the Super Bowl. He led the NFL with 2,023 yards from scrimmage and was tied for the NFL lead with 21 touchdowns.

The honor of the Madden cover comes a week after McCaffrey signed a two-year extension worth $38 million to remain under contract with the 49ers through the 2027 season. McCaffrey became the rare running back to cash in on a second big veteran deal as he pushes to raise the salary bar for a position that has seen little growth at the top of the market in the past decade.

History of running backs on the Madden cover

McCaffrey is the first running back on the Madden cover since 2014, when Barry Sanders was on the worldwide cover and Adrian Peterson was on an alternate version for PS4 and XBox One.

“I think it’s big,” McCaffrey said about a running back getting the cover. “Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction for running backs. Over the last few years we’ve been a little bit slighted. So I’m hoping we can get things back to where they should be.”

The only other running backs to be featured on the worldwide cover are Peyton Hills (2012), Shaun Alexander (2007), Marshall Faulk (2003) and Eddie George (2001).

Garrison Hearst was on the international cover in 1999 and was the only 49ers player to be on any cover before McCaffrey this season.

McCaffrey hopes the publicity from the cover will help publicize a cause that is important to him. McCaffrey’s foundation launched the Logan Project last year to honor the memory of one of his young fans, Logan Hale, who died of cancer at age 13 in 2021.

McCaffrey sent a signed jersey to Hale late in his battle with cancer and Hale was buried in it. McCaffrey then learned about Hale’s wish to buy video game consoles for children’s hospitals around the country and sought to carry on that goal.

“It’s inspiring,” McCaffrey said about Hale’s wish. “It’s humbling. I think it’s a lesson for everybody, that even when you’re going through tough times, think of others. Don’t be so self-consumed with yourself. Here’s a young boy who’s not even in high school who’s going through one of the worst things a kid can go through, being extremely selfless.”

The McCaffrey Foundation has donated more than 45 gaming consoles to hospitals around the country and has sponsored the Logan Bowl the past two years that features eight NFL players participating in a Madden tournament to raise money for the Logan Project. Chiefs receiver Hollywood Brown won this year’s tournament.

“I think there’s so many cool things that we can do with this,” McCaffrey said. “I think there’s a bunch of cool things we can do. Obviously, we’ll have to put our creativity to use and put my team’s minds together so that we can maximize the potential of where this thing can go and hopefully help a lot of kids out and put as many gaming consoles in hospitals as we can across the country.”

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